The Tamatebako appears in the story "Urashima Taro", where the fisherman was invited to the enchanted palace of Otohime, who is the Mistress of the Sea, after saving a turtle. Urashima Taro went, ate at a big feast, watched the fish dance, and enjoyed the enchanted land for three days. Eventually he began to miss his home land. So he asked Otohime to send him back home, which she was happy to do. As a parting gift, she gave him the Tamatebako with explicit instructions to never open the box. He went back home, but to his dismay, all that he once knew had changed. He did not recognize the people, the buildings, or anything at all. He came across an old man, and asked him if he had ever heard of Urashima Taro. The man replied that he had heard of him, that he had gone to the sea 300 years ago and never returned. With time he grew very depressed, and decided to see what was in the box. When he opened the box, a white puff of smoke escaped, and he was transformed into an old, white haired man. The time that had passed while he was at the palace was great, and Otohime had stored his old age away in the Tamatebako, which Urashima Taro released.