The Legend of Joren Falls

In Japanese folklore it is believed that bodies of water often have a nushi, or guardian spirit, which can take various forms including dragons, snakes and many others. Joren Falls on the Izu Peninsula has a drop of 250 meters into a deep dark blue pool at the base and many visitors report feeling uneasy when viewing it. This is the tale of the nushi who is said to inhabit the pool.

The story goes that there was once a local farmer named Kanbe who worked in the fields nearby. One day he sat beneath a mulberry tree to rest and watched with interest as a silk spider wove a web between his big toe and the pool at the base of the falls. Not wanting to destroy the spider’s hard work, when he got up to resume work, Kanbe gently took the web from his toe and attached it to the mulberry tree. Just then, the sky grew dark and the waterfall seemed to roar even louder before the mulberry tree was torn from the earth and pulled into the pond. 
Okumura Masanobu

Feeling very lucky, Kanbe ran home and when he told people, no one in the town ever approached the waterfall again for fear of becoming victim to the spider who was obviously the nushi of the pond. Many years later, a travelling woodcutter accidentally dropped his axe into the pond. He was a good swimmer so decided to dive straight into the freezing water and retrieve his axe. When he surfaced he saw a beautiful, almost transparent woman standing near the rocks at the base of the falls with his axe in her hand. She informed him that she was a silk spider and nushi of the pond, and that she would return his axe on the condition he told no one about her, saying that if he did, his life would end. 
Adachi Ginko, 1885
Feeling terrified and lucky to have escaped, he went to the village. He asked around and heard the rumours about the spider nushi. Later, when he was very drunk on sake, he let his ego get the better of him and began boasting about his meeting with the silk spider and how he had come away unscathed. That night he died in his sleep and the villagers knew for sure the nushi was responsible and continued to keep well away from the waterfall. 

Keisai Eisen,1847
The spider nushi is this tale was a yokai known as jorogumo. I've written more about them here.

The photograph below is of the real Joren Falls on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Joren Falls
 Here are a few more waterfalls depicted in ukiyo-e prints for your viewing pleasure.
Utagawa Hiroshige, 1858

Katsushika Hokusai, 1832
Kawase Hasui, 1951