The shintai (object of worship) is an enormous stone that is a complete mystery!
Intrigued by those words, I went to visit Oshiko Shrine, in Takasago city.
As you get closer to the shrine, the sight of the bare mountain surface slightly further to the south jumps out at you! Mt. Tatsuyama is the location of an ancient stone quarry that is still in use today. As the stone is sturdy and easy to work, it was widely used for stone coffins during Kofun period (250-538 AD)!
After you finish the stairs, the front shrine right is in front of your eyes, so two bows and two claps. Not stopping to wait, I pass a small area for votive pictures and head beyond the front shrine to where the shintai is to be found.
Behold, the mysterious temple of the stone.
It’s surrounded by stone walls on three sides. Visitors have a view looking up at the stone, but even if I draw back as much as I can, I can’t capture the whole thing with my camera.
If you go around the back, you can see that the stone has been carved into a shape resembling a roof, which some say resembles a Braun tube television!
As its base has been carved inside from all four sides, it almost looks like it’s floating on top of water. The stone is known as one of Japan’s “Three Great Miracles” within Japan, but many visitors coming from outside the country might know it better as “Japan’s floating rock.”
After climbing the stone stairs and looking at the stone temple from above, I finally understood how it was made. At 6.5 meters wide, 5.6 meters high and 5.6 meters deep, and weighing an estimated 456 tons, the stone temple was carved out of Mt. Tatsuyama’s bedrock.
According to legend, two gods were working on the construction of the stone temple, but while they were suppressing a revolt, morning came and they were not able to lift the palace to the front.
The theory that the temple was actually made in the 7th century at the end of Kofun period is a plausible one, but both its purpose and maker remain a mystery.
There is a smooth stone surface on top of the mountain. Even emperor Taisho once climbed on top, apparently.
The great view that opens up from the mountaintop is another big highlight of the shrine – on clear days you can even see Himeji Castle. The Harima Coast Industrial Zone spreads out to the south, and you can also see deserted islands floating in the Seto Inland Sea.
How about a touch of ancient mystery, and a view of the ocean by the shrine enveloped by stone?
Access to Oshiko Shrine (National historical site, the holy shrine of the stone)
Train & Bus: Take the Joton Bus from the South exit of JR Hoden station; get off at Fureai no Sato Oshiko stop and it’s a 5-minute walk from there.
Train & on foot: Get off the train at JR Hoden station and walk 25-minutes in a southwesterly direction!
Car: Turn off National Road 2 to the south and get onto prefectural road 392 from the lights at Takasago North ramp. (This is a parking area for shrine visitors.)
Setouchi Finder Photo-writer: Madoka Hori
Give us your Like
Madoka Hori / Photo-writer Entrepreneurial translator/writer living in Hyogo. As a licensed English tour guide, she occasionally takes tourists to beautiful destinations such as Kobe, Himeji, Okayama, Kyoto, and Osaka and her clients have never got lost so far. On Setouchi Finder, as one of the original team members, she enjoys taking photos and sharing her favorite hidden gems. Private Photo Blog http://riderv328.tumblr.com Twitter https://twitter.com/Riderv328
> Speaking of Setouchi, the must-eat item is seafood! – A selection of 7 spots where you can try fresh seafood.
> A selection of 7 cafes and restaurants in Setouchi with superb scenery and views of the sea.
> A tranquil garden full of Japanese beauty and a huge carpet of green moss. / Gallery Teahouse Kokemushiro (Seiyo-shi, Ehime)
> 3 places for barhopping in Yokogawawhich carefully selected by a “hard-drinking” writer / Nice Yukari, Gohan-ya Haru-chan, and Trois Copain
> Please fully enjoy local sake brewed in Tokushima at the shop where you can “buy and drink.” / Taro Saketen (Tokushima-shi, Tokushima)
> A century-old Japanese house which an Onomichi merchant used as a villa has been renovated for accommodation. / The house rental “Kujira Bekkan” (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> An inn where you can find “ordinary Kobe” / Guesthouse MAYA (Kobe-shi, Hyogo)
> This could be the best choice for your stay in Awajishima! How about having a family trip while staying at a hot spring resort where you can get a great ocean view? / Hotel New Awaji Group (Sumoto-shi, Hyogo)
> Come and see, rail fans! A new base for a circular sightseeing tour in Shikoku, which is produced by JR SHIKOKU./ 4S STAY Awaikeda Sta.(Miyoshi-shi, Tokushima)
> Books, a bar, and international exchange!? 3 selections of hotel and guesthouses which have attractive little perks in the center of Hiroshima / (KIRO Hiroshima -THE SHARE HOTELS-, EN HIROSHIMA, and 36HOSTEL)
> Visit historic spots in the city center of Hiroshima on foot and learn about the history of peace (Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima)
> This is the ultimate soothing trip – feel the sense and the heart of Japan in Uchiko Town and Ozu City in Ehime.
> Beauty exists in every detailed corner of your eyesight! 8 spots where you can see wonderful views of Setouchi and its beautiful islands.
> Visiting the well-known “power spots” where mystical energy flows! This northern drive route visits temples, shrines, and cultural heritage sites in Tottori, Shimane, and Yamaguchi
> A continual stream of natural beauty which will make your heart tremble! The eastern drive route covers the best viewing spots in Okayama, Hyogo, and Tokushima
> Let’s enjoy a liberating new Setouchi voyage by “SEA SPICA”!
> The last report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.5. STU48 members attended the launching ceremony. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi -Vol.4. STU48 members paint the ship’s logo! / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the merging of the superstructure and the base of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi Vol.3 by members of STU48 / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> A report on the shipbuilding of “SEA SPICA,” the high-speed sightseeing cruiser for island hopping in Setouchi. Vol.2 shows you the “Reversal Procedure” where the ship is turned over. / West Japan Railway Company 【PR】
> Shimanami Kaido - Cyclist's Paradise
> Onomichi U2 and the Giant Store – the perfect partners for enjoying the Shimanami Kaidō
> Eating, Cycling & Getting Warm : Akiyoshidai Karst Road (Mine City, Yamaguchi Prefecture)
> Kasaoka Island Hopping by Bike : A perfect 2-day trip! (Okayama)
> A Rare Lighthouse & Spelunking!? Traversing Ogijima by Bicycle! (Ogi, Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture)
> “ONOMARU SHOUTEN” is the shop which has all of Onomichi’s fascinations. / JR Onomichi Ekisha (Onomichi-shi, Hiroshima)
> Kobe Shopping: 3 Distinct Local Brands to Bring Home（Kobe, Hyogo）【PR】
> Experience the ancient way of salt making on Kamikamagari-jima Island on the Tobishima Kaido in Aki-nada! / Kamagari Ancient Salt Making Remains Restoration Pavilion & “Amabito-no-Moshio” (Kure-shi, Hiroshima)
> “Meika Shitatsuzumi, ”a Japanese sweet from Yamaguchi which is soft, pleasant and melty on your tongue / San-in-do (Yamaguchi-shi, Yamaguchi)
> Let’s enjoy taking a walk down the shopping street near Matsuyama Castle./Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street (Matsuyama-shi, Ehime Prefecture)
See more articles about "Others"OthersList
Kobe City Himeji City Amagasaki City Akashi City Nishinomiya City Sumoto City Ashiya City Itami City Aioi City Toyooka City Kakogawa City Ako City Nishiwaki City Takarazuka City Miki City Takasago City Kawanishi City Ono City Mita City Kasai City Sasayama City Yabu City Tanba City Minamiawaji City Asago City Awaji City Shiso City Kato City Tatsuno City Inagawa Taka Inami Harima Ichikawa Fukusaki Kamikawa Taishi Kamigori Sayo Kami Shinonsen
- Okayama Pref.
- Hiroshima Pref.
- Yamaguchi Pref.
- Tokushima Pref.
- Kagawa Pref.
- Ehime Pref.