Meoto Iwa (Wedded Rocks)

Please activate Javascript.

Domo arigato.
  • Meoto Iwa the Wedded Rocks

    Meoto Iwa The Wedded Rocks

  • Meoto Iwa the Wedded Rocks

    Meoto Iwa The Wedded Rocks

  • Meoto Iwa the Wedded Rocks

    Meoto Iwa The Wedded Rocks

  • Futami Beach in Mie Prefecture

    Futami Beach, Mie Prefecture

  • Futami Beach in Mie Prefecture

    Futami Beach, Mie Prefecture

  • Futami City Coastline in Mie Prefecture

    Futami City Coastline, Mie Prefecture

  • Futami City Coastline in Mie Prefecture

    Futami City, Mie Prefecture

  • Futami City Ocean View in Mie Prefecture

    Futami City Ocean View

  • Stone Latern Close To Meoto Iwa The Wedded Rocks

    Stone Latern Close To Meoto Iwa The Wedded Rocks

Show map

Show gallery

This post can contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Facts & Figures

Meoto-iwa or the "Wedded Rocks" is the name for a pair of sacred rocks in Futami Bay near Ise Grand Shrine (Ise Jingu) and the Futami-Okitama Shrine. The larger rock with the white torii located on the left is 9m high and represents the husband (deity Izanagi). The smaller rock to the right is 4m high and represents the wife (deity Izanami). Both are creator deities in the Japanese mythology. They are connected by 5 big sacred shimenawa ropes (made of rice straw), which gets replaced 3times a year (in May, September and December). Best Ryokans in Ise and Toba Explore Ryokans in Ise and Toba >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
One rope is 35m long/10cm in diameter and together they have a weight of nearly a ton. To replace the shimenawa ropes more than 50 men are needed to hang it over these 2 rocks. The rope stands for the marriage bond for these two gods. Couples come here to pray for a successful marriage. It is said that Meoto-iwa serves as a gateway to worship the sacred Okimitama Shinseki, a large under rock water formation 700m offshore. Okimitama Shinseki stands for the Great God of the Sun. My tip: During low tide it is possible to walk close to the two rocks.

My tips for local activities

How about exploring the city Ise and the Ise Grand Shrine on a personalized tour with a local guide. Check out this page > for more details.

History

According to the Shinto legend the islands in the Japanese archipelago were created by the deities Izanami and Izanagi.
The shimenawa ropes ceremony started as early as the 14th century.

Location

Map of Japan

Meoto-iwa is located in the Mie Prefecture at the Futami Bay near Ise City.

How to get to Meoto-iwa?

  • from Tokyo to Nagoya to Shima Peninsula
  • 100min from Tokyo to Nagoya by JR Tokaido Shinkansen
  • 80min from Nagoya to Ise by Kintetsu limited express train
  • 15min from Ise to JR Futaminoura Station by Kintetsu train or Japan Railway
  • 15min from JR Futaminoura Station to Meoto Iwa

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Meoto-iwa view of sunrise - This location is famous for watching a sunrise between the rocks with Mt. Fuji in the background (200km away). You can enjoy this spectacle from April to August.

Futami-Okitama Shrine - It is a Shinto Shrine right next to Meoto-iwa. You will find there many frog sculptures, which were donated by worshippers. Japanese people think these animals bring luck for those who are leaving for a pilgrimage. The Japanese word for frog is kaeru, which means return.

Ryugu Shrine - The small shrine is dedicated to the Ryujin, the dragon god of the seas.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

May

Oshimenawa Harikae Shinji (5th)
The Shimenawa Renewal Festival takes place 3times a year. The replacing of the ropes is one of the most important festivals for this shrine.

September

Oshimenawa Harikae Shinji (5th)
The 2nd replacing of the ropes is one of the most important festivals for this shrine.

December

Oshimenawa Harikae Shinji (second or third weekend)
The 3rd replacing of the ropes is one of the most important festivals for this shrine.

Book your Japan trip and have a great time!

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Yokohama Street Scene

I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favorite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
Find out more >

Books about Japan

My recommended books about Japan

Reading books is a great source of inspiration for me. Check out my recommended list of books about the fascinating country Japan.
My Book recommendations >