In Okayama by the Inland Sea, there is a spot where oddly shaped rocks, such as the one in the image below, can be seen!
Looking like an old monk grinning, this particular geological marvel is known “Smiling Rock” for obvious reasons! Any idea where this delightful rock face is located?
It’s on Mt. Ōjigadake, Tamano City, Okayama prefecture!
Looking down at the Seto Inland Sea, Mt. Ōjigadake is 234.5 m above sea level. There are many unique shaped rocks and gigantic lumps of granite around its peak. You can take a stroll while checking out art works created by Mother Nature.
Though Ōjigadake’s elevation is not that high, it is located on a coastal precipice. As such, there are some places at which you might feel weak at the knees! However, a road leading to near the top of the mountain makes it relatively easy to access.
From the huge parking area, it takes about 5-minutes on foot to reach the center of Ōjigadake Park.
From the park’s observation deck you can see islands floating in the Seto Inland Sea, the mountains of Shikoku, and the Great Seto Bridge.
There is a walkway from where ‘forest bathing’ can be enjoyed while checking out unique rocks dotting the hillside. It has some fairly steep uphill and downhill sections, but walking for about 15 minutes brings you to “Smiling rock”!
Other interestingly shaped rocks include the “Middle aged man” and the “Sheep”. It’s fun to discover and name unusually shaped rocks while walking around!
If you’re not a huge fan of traipsing around mountains, no problem! The giant rocks behind the Park center are naturally formed premium seats.
It’s lovely just sitting and spending time looking at “Smiling rock” and the islands floating in the Seto Inland Sea.
Returning to the parking area, I saw the back of “Smiling rock” when I turned my head to the sea – it’s a bit dented…
Behind “Smiling rock”, Ōzuchi Island can be seen floating in the Inland Sea.
As a matter of fact, a prefectural border runs through the middle of the mountain – the north side is Okayama, and the south Kagawa.
This stretch of water denotes the shortest distance between Honshu and Shikoku. Takamatsu town (Kagawa prefecture) can be seen on the far left.
Mt. Ōjigadake is great place to see unique rock formations and enjoy breathtaking views of the Seto Inland Sea. Would you like to name some rocks?
Location: 4 chōme, Shibukawa, Tamano-shi, Okayama
Website (Japanese): http://www.city.tamano.lg.jp/docs/2014022602157/
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Hironobu Matsuoka
Hironobu Matsuoka / Photo-writer Born in 1974 in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, and currently living there, Hironobu is the president of Mediapolis Inc. "I travel around the country in Solar King, an eco-camping car that has a solar power generator, and film the beautiful scenery of Japan in high-definition. I want to move around the country as much as possible and leave behind videos of precious Japanese nature and scenery for future generations to enjoy. Although I travel all over the country, I love my home area of Setouchi." 'Healing Japan TV' - Traveling virtually around the country through 'healing videos'.
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