Legends of Tono
Tono monogatari (Legends of Tono), a famous series of folk tales published at the beginning of the 20th century, is based in Tono. Tono's atmosphere is really mysterious and completely suited to that kind of legend...All the sites are scattered and are always a little away from the road, in the forest, hills, and this is were lie the peculiar charm and atmosphere of the region, since you always need to leave your bicycle and get into the forest to see the sites...in Tono, the sightseeing spots must be deserved!...The atmosphere was kind of magic, especially since I was clearly the only tourist there! I rent a bicycle early in the morning so I could explore the area, so here are some pictures I took that day...
A graveyard, away from the road:
At the end of that forest path, a door that gives access to an old temple complex:
Going up in the hills...but what do those little statuettes scattered everywhere represent?
A few treasures lost in the heights:
An old village:
As I said above, you often need to climb to get to the sites:
And if you go high enough, there still is snow:
The statues at the bottom of the following picture represent kappa, creatures from the Japanese folklore who became popular thanks to the legends of Tono. You can check out this site to learn more about it.
Here are some shots of the valley to conclude: