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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

History

Hananoiwaya-jinja Shrine 花の窟神社

## Place a stone in the rocky spire for luck at an ancient shrine beside Japan's longest beach

Hananoiwaya Shrine, which sits by Japan's longest beach in the Kumano region of Mie Prefecture, is dedicated to a towering rock on that beach. The rock is 45 meters high, and it has been shaped over eons by wind and waves. The shrine is one of the country's oldest.

Don't Miss

  • A chance to make a wish at what could be Japan's oldest shrine
  • The semiannual festival, with dancing and a huge ceremonial rope hung high above the ground
  • Japan's longest beach right next door

How to Get There

You can get to the shrine by taking a train and then a bus or by bus alone.

If you are using public transportation, take the JR Kisei Main Line to Kumanoshi Station. Then take a Mie Kotsu bus and get off at Hana-no-Iwaya. The bus leg of the journey takes only four minutes. If you prefer a scenic stroll, walk along nearby Shichiri Mihama Beach to the shrine.

If you are traveling from a location without quick access to the JR Kisei Main Line, then buses are another option. A highway bus from the Meitetsu Bus Center in Nagoya takes nearly four hours. Combinations of trains and buses from Kyoto or Osaka take approximately five hours each way.

A shrine dedicated to a towering rock

In addition to humanoid divine beings and animals, the multitudinous deities of the Shinto pantheon also reside inside inanimate objects, such as mountains or rocks. Hananoiwaya Shrine is dedicated to one awe-inspiring rock along Shichiri Mihama Beach that is 45 meters high and 80 meters wide.

Erosion has formed numerous holes in the rock's otherwise smooth surface. Believers say that if you place a white stone in one of these holes and make a wish, it may come true.

On the Ise route

Hananoiwaya is also notable for being one of the oldest shrines in Japan, although the exact date of its foundation remains unknown.

If you are traversing the Ise route among the sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountain range, this shrine will be a highlight on your itinerary.

When to go

The semiannual rope-changing ritual occurs during festivals on February 2 and October 2. After a dance to honor the gods, a rope extending for 170 meters is hung between a sacred pine tree and the rock.

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