The Offshore Rocks, Meoto Iwa, in Mie Prefecture Standing as a Symbol of Marriage
The Meoto Iwa are two rocks in Ise City, Mie Prefecture in Japan. One large and one small, that are connected by an Oshime Nawa rope. These rocks look like a couple nestling together and the spot is famous as a power spot that offers benefits such as couples' marital happiness and matchmaking luck.
About The Meoto Iwa
The married rocks (Meoto Iwa) are thought to be sacred stones associated with "Sarutahiko Okami", the god of roads, and as a torii gate for worshiping the sunrise from afar. It consists of a 9-meter high "Oiwa", or male rock and a 4-meter high "Meiwa", or female rock, which are connected by a single 35-meter long Oshime Nawa Rope. By the way, there is a replacing ritual for the Oshime Nawa on May 5th, September 5th, and mid-December every year, and more people gather than usual during this period.
The Meoto Iwa Highlights and Things to Do
The Meoto Iwa is a spot with a beautiful view, in a great location with the magnificent ocean in the back. Sightseeing is possible throughout the year, but here we will introduce some of our recommended sightseeing seasons and attractions.
Worshipping the Sunrise: The Meaning Behind the Torii Gate on the Meoto Iwa
There is a history at the Meoto Iwa of worshiping the rising sun between the two rocks as a representation of the sun goddess “Amaterasu Okami”.
Usually, May to July is the best season for a beautiful sunrise. In particular, before and after the summer solstice around June 21 every year, the morning sun rises from the top of Mt. Fuji, which is about 200 km away, and the spectacular scene can only be seen at this time.
Winter Scenery of Meoto Iwa: The Full Moon Rising Between the Rocks
The Meoto Iwa provide different scenery depending on the season and time of day, and times other than sunrise, such as during the day and at night, are also quite attractive. In particular, during the full moons from October to January is recommended because you can see the moon rising between the two rocks. The view of the full moon shining in the night sky and the married rocks floating on the sea, which is reflecting the moonlight, is an amazing beauty.
Also Visit Futami Okitama Shrine
If you visit the Meoto Iwa, you should also visit Futami Okitama Shrine that faces them. Futami Okitama Shrine is a shrine with Sarutahiko Okami (the great god) as the enshrined deity, and is said to provide benefits for matchmaking, marital harmony, and traffic safety.
Also pay attention to the frogs of different colors and shapes everywhere within the precincts. These are the frogs that are said to be used by the Sarutahiko Okami as familiars, called “Futami-kaeru”, and are lucky objects.
Access to the Meoto Iwa
To get to the Meoto Iwa, take a train or bus from JR Iseshi Station.
In the case of the train, get off at the nearest station to the Meoto Iwa, “JR Futaminoura Station”, after about 10 minutes, and then it is about 15 minutes on foot.
In the case of the bus, take the CAN bus to the nearest bus stop, “Meoto Iwa East Gate / Ise Sea Paradise-mae”. It takes about 50 minutes to the bus stop, then it is about 5 minutes on foot.
- Spot name： The Meoto Iwa (Futami Okitama Shrine) (夫婦岩, 二見興玉神社)
- Street address：575 Futamicho-e, Ise City, Mie Prefecture 519-0602
- Ise-shi station → [JR] about 10 minutes → Futaminoura station ... about 15 minutes on foot
- Ise-shi station → [CAN bus] about 50 minutes → Get off at the Meoto Iwa East Gate / Ise Sea Paradise-mae bus stop ... about 5 minutes on foot
- Language：Japanese Only