The 'Married Couple Rocks' of Meoto Iwa 夫婦岩

  • Published on : 17/08/2020
  • by : G.L. / I.D.O.
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Meoto Iwa: the Married Couple Rocks of Ise

Meoto Iwa, literally "Married Couple Rocks" or "Husband and Wife Rocks," are sacred rocks located in the sea near Futami, a small town in Ise, Mie Prefecture. While the great Ise Shrine honors Amaterasu, founder of the imperial lineage, Meoto Iwa symbolizes the two creative deities of Japan, forever linked by the bonds of marriage.

The surroundings of the shrine are strewn with stone statuettes representing frogs. The Japanese think that it is a lucky animal that offers its good luck to pilgrims before they leave: in Japanese, "frog" is kaeru, which is pronounced in the same way as the verb meaning "to return".

 

To see around Meoto Iwa

 

The path that leads to the rocks (20-25 minutes walking from Futaminoura station) passes in front of another small shrine: Ryugu, dedicated to the dragon, the god of the sea. The water which flows from its mouth is supposed to purify visitors. At the end of the trail, a few restaurants and souvenir shops welcome visitors.

Opposite the Meoto Iwa is the Hijitsukan building. It was once a place of accommodation for important personalities who visited the great shrine of Ise. It has been turned into a museum and is open to the public.

Meoto Iwa

Meoto Iwa

Lorena a.k.a. Loretahur, Flickr

Or, at twilight from November to February when the moon (choose full moon days) replaces the sun between the two rocks. If the weather is very clear, and with great luck, you can sometimes see Mount Fuji. On the other hand, although very photogenic, is very small.

If these photogenic and romantic rocks appeal to you, know that there are others in the country, including the Meoto Iwa "married couple rocks" in Futamigaura bay in Fukuoka prefecture (in Kyushu) and the rocks of Hatago-Iwa.

 

Meoto Iwa rocks - Mie prefecture

Meoto Iwa rocks - Mie prefecture

Mie prefectural government


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