Sacred Wedded Rocks in a Picturesque Bay
In the northern part of Itoshima, located in the bay of Futamigaura, there are two remarkable rocks known as Meoto Iwa, or the wedded rocks. These linked stones are not only one of the most popular attractions in the Itoshima area, but they also hold great cultural and spiritual significance. Visitors can combine a visit to Meoto Iwa with a tour of the peninsula’s beautiful beaches and charming cafes. This article will provide a detailed description of this natural wonder, its history, and how to access it.
Description of Meoto Iwa:
Meoto Iwa is a pair of rocks that are connected to each other by a giant straw garland called a shimenawa. The rocks are situated just off the coast of Futamigaura Beach, on the northern coast of the Itoshima Peninsula. The larger rock is considered the husband rock, while the smaller one is known as the wife rock. This unique geological formation has become a symbol of marital harmony and is visited by many couples seeking blessings for their relationships.
The Shimenawa Ceremony:
Every year, during the spring tide in late April or early May, a special ceremony is held to replace the shimenawa that connects the rocks. The shimenawa weighs approximately one ton and requires more than 50 men to carry it out and hang it over the rocks. This ceremony is a significant event for the local community and attracts visitors from all over japan who come to witness this traditional ritual.
The Torii Gate:
In front of the shrine that overlooks Meoto Iwa stands a white torii gate. The base of the gate is weathered and worn by the flow of the tide, showcasing the power of nature. During low tide, visitors can walk to the base of the torii gate, but during high tide, the lower section of the gate is completely submerged. It is important to note that the tides in front of Meoto Iwa can be very powerful, and swimming out to the rocks is not advised.
Access to Meoto Iwa:
Meoto Iwa is located just an hour’s drive from Fukuoka. It is recommended to have a car to fully enjoy the Itoshima Peninsula, as public transportation options are limited. There is a parking lot directly opposite the torii gate, making it convenient for visitors with vehicles. For those without a car, public transport is available but infrequent.
Apart from Meoto Iwa, Itoshima offers several other attractions that are worth exploring. The peninsula is known for its beautiful beaches, where visitors can relax and soak in the sun. There are also numerous charming cafes where you can enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the picturesque surroundings. Itoshima is a haven for nature lovers and provides ample opportunities for hiking, cycling, and exploring its scenic landscapes.
Meoto Iwa, the wedded rocks of Itoshima, is a captivating natural wonder that attracts visitors with its unique geological formation and cultural significance. The annual shimenawa ceremony and the presence of the torii gate add to the mystique of this site. While visiting Meoto Iwa, it is recommended to explore the other attractions in the area, such as the beautiful beaches and charming cafes. Whether you are seeking marital blessings or simply want to admire the beauty of nature, Meoto Iwa is a must-visit destination in Itoshima.
Address And Maps Location:
Kota Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka-ken