In Japanese folklore, Ryūgū-jō is the undersea palace of Ryūjin, the dragon kami of the sea. Princess Otohime, her maidens, and Ryūjin's vassals reside in the palace, as well. Jinja hime are yōkai that serve in Ryūgū-jo. During the Edo period, a jinja hime reportedly appeared on a beach proclaiming to be "a messenger from Ryūgū." With a six-meter-long, snake-like body, they resemble giant oarfish, which are called ryūgū no tsukai in Japanese. Ryūgū-jō is described in Urashima Tarō as located a several-day swim beneath the sea. A marvelous gate appears before it. Different versions describe the palace made of gold, crystal, coral, and pearl with sloping roofs that can be seen over the gate. The large hall within is illuminated by fish scales. A garden surrounds the palace, each of the four sides corresponding to a different season: sakura in bloom to the east, buzzing cicadas to the south, multi-colored maple leaves to the west, and snow-covered ground to the north.

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