Meoto Iwa (Mie) 夫婦岩（三重）
Romantic rocks and fortuitous frogs
Couples traveling through the Mie area might enjoy an excursion to the coast to take in the romantic beauty of the Meoto Iwa or ”wedded rocks." Sacred stones with connections to Shinto and symbolic of male and female entities, the rocks are bound together by a heavy shimenawa rope that divides the earthly and spiritual realms.
The formation appears as two separate rocks in the water during high tide
The sunrises here are particularly picturesque in summer
The frogs at a nearby shrine
How to Get There
Renting a car is the best way to reach Meoto Iwa. Free parking is available.
If riding a train from Ise, take the JR Sangu Line from Iseshi Station to Futaminoura Station in just over five minutes. From there, it's a scenic walk to Meoto Iwa that takes about 20 to 25 minutes.
Alternatively, the bus bound for Toba from JR Iseshi Station or nearby Kintetsu Ujiyamada Station gets you there in about 20 minutes.
These two rocks off the coast offer some unique photo opportunities thanks to their location, the tides, and the huge strand of rope binding them together.
High tide is a popular time to visit, as this is when water flows in between the rocks. On summer mornings you can get a shot of the sun rising between them. And on particularly clear days, Mt. Fuji is visible in the far distance.
The rocks are symbolic representations of Izanagi and Izanami, the male and female entities who created the gods of the Shinto pantheon. They are bound together by the heavy rope that is replaced several times a year in a special ceremony.
The larger stone is the male, and the smaller the female. Knowing this, it becomes clear where the name Meoto Iwa, which means "wedded rocks," comes from.
Frogs, fortune, and love
The daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, and the mythical ancestor of the imperial line, Amaterasu, is enshrined at nearby Ise-jingu Shrine. Just down the road from the Meoto Iwa observation point is a more modest shrine, Futami-Okitama.
Although it is dedicated to Sarutahiko, leader of the earthly deities, the highlight here is the myriad of frogs ornamenting the grounds. The frogs are considered auspicious, as the Japanese word for frog, "kaeru," also means "to return." Therefore, visitors here pray to get back precious things or people.
A trip to the rocks can easily be combined with a trip to the nearby Hinjitsukan Museum, a former guesthouse for VIPs visiting the Ise-jingu Shrine .