Meoto Iwa

Mie Things to Do

Mie, Japan Apr. 13 Sat 10:26PM

15.7 / 60.2

The Married Rocks

Futami is a small town in Ise City, and the most famous attraction in it is the Meoto Iwa. These sacred rocks are known to be married in Japanese culture! The rocks are connected by a thick twine rope, known in Japanese as a shimenawa rope. There are three ceremonies within a year during which the marriage rope is replaced.

In Shinto religion, the rocks stand to represent the union of the creators of the kami (Japanese gods). These kami were named Izanagi and Izanami.

During low tide, the rocks are connected at the base. However, during high tide is when most people recommend visiting the rocks. At high tide, the rocks appear to be separated since the base is covered by ocean. The absolute best time to catch the Meoto Iwa is during a summer dawn, because the sun rises between the two rocks creating a breathtakingly picturesque sight. Sometimes, if the weather permits, the silhouette of Mt Fuji can be seen far beyond the rocks.

Visitors wandering around the area of the Meoto Iwa may notice the abundance of frog sculptures. These sculptures indicate a close proximity to the Futami-Okitama Shrine. Worshippers of this shrine believe that frog charms have the ability to bring lost people or things back. The Japanese word for frog is “kaeru,” which also translates to “return”.

Not too far away is also the Futami Plaza, which houses souvenir shops, restaurants, and an aquarium. For those interested in touring the area even more, the Hinjitsukan museum also sits just across from the Meoto Iwa!

Walk 15 minutes from JR Futaminoura Station to reach the rocks. Both the Futami-Okitama Shrine and the Meoto Iwa rocks are just a 20-30 minute drive or train ride away from the Ise Grand Shrine.

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