Friday, October 17, 2014

Meoto Iwa : The Wedded Rocks

On our recent visit to Ise Grand Shrine, we also visited Meoto Iwa. 
A 15 minute car ride from the Ise Grand Shrine is the the Futamigaura Beach. The biggest attractions here are the Futami Okitama Jinja and the Meoto Iwa. 

The Meoto Iwa are two rocks considered to represent Izanami and Izanagi , the patron gods of Japan. The larger rock with a small wooden torii at the peak is considered as the male rock while the smaller rock is considered to be the female rock. 
According to Shinto, the rocks celebrate the marital union of man and woman. Together they are referred to as the Wedded Rocks and are said to have special powers particularly to ensure harmony in marriage and ward off evil.  

The offshore rocks have been joined in matrimony by sacred straw ropes called Shimenawa. The ropes weigh over a ton  and are replaced several times a year. Many young couples believe that watching this ceremony with their loved one will strengthen their bond. 

The view of the rocks is said to be spectacular especially at sunrise between May and July. No wonder the spot is a popular place for Hatsu Hinode, the ritual of watching the first sunrise of the new year. Similarly the moon rising between the rocks between October and January is also said to be a spectacular sight. 

In clear weather, even Mount Fuji can be viewed in the distance. We didn't get to see it though, our visit was on a day before the super Typhoon Vong Fong was supposed to arrive in the region !
The Futami Okitama Jinja is built overlooking the Meoto Iwa. 

The shrine is dedicated to Goddess Miketsu, the goddess of food. 
Numerous statues of frogs are scattered around the shrine.




People offer small ropes at the shrine.
The Shrine's Votives also feature the Meoto Iwa.  

Address: Mie Prefecture, Ise, Futami Cho e, 575

Phone: 0596-43-2020

Closing Days: Open 365 days

Parking: Available 

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