Photo-essay: Spring-fed Samegai On The Nakasendo

Lemonade bottles, only 90 yen each, are put in the chilly waters to refresh passing walkers.

Lemonade bottles, only 90 yen each, are put in the chilly waters to refresh passing walkers.

The 64th of the 69 stations along the Edo era Nakasendo highway, Samegai was the place that travellers considered a truly restful stop.

The 64th of 69 stops along the Nakasendo highway, tired travellers enjoyed a chance to rest in Samegai.

The skin numbingly cold, clear waters emerge their underground source and flow through the town.

The skin numbingly cold, clear waters emerge their underground source and flow through the town. It is home to a rare species of fish called the Hariyo or Samegai Trout.

Baikamo flowers grow and bloom here in summer. A plastic bottomed box tied to a rope is left out for better viewing.

Rare baikamo flowers grow and bloom under the water here in summer. A plastic bottomed box tied to a rope is left out for better viewing.

Photographers from across the region come to view the baikemo flowers.

Photographers from across the region come to view the baikamo flowers.

Samegai has many houses that are over 100 years old and some designed by American architect William Merrell Vories in the early 20th century.

Samegai has many houses that are over 100 years old and some designed by American architect William Merrell Vories in the early 20th century.

A relic from a busier era? A small shop opens to the road, tempting walkers to sit and enjoy stream cooled drinks, cucumbers and tomatoes.

A relic from a busier era? A small shop opens to the road, tempting walkers to sit and enjoy stream cooled drinks, cucumbers and tomatoes.

The shop has a trough of baikamo flowers for easy close-ups.

The shop has a trough of baikamo flowers for easy close-ups.

No refrigeration necessary.

No refrigeration necessary.

The shop's owner shares some friendly banter over change.

The shop’s owner shares some friendly banter over change.

Perfect for the end of a hot mid-summer's day.

Perfect for the end of a hot mid-summer’s day.

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