Though the most famous ‘wedded rocks’ in Japan are to be found at Futamigaura (Futami, Mie prefecture), I heard that there was an ever bigger ‘rock couple’ in the mountains of Okayama, so I went to the Nariwa area of Takahashi city to check them out.
And there they were, on a cliff 400 meters above sea level.
While the “husband” (right) is 12 meters high, the “wife” is 16. Although the rock at the base of the “husband” is higher, which makes it appear bigger, actually it’s the smaller of the two. Around the “wife” you can see a group of smaller rocks that look almost like children.
Twice the size of those at Futamigaura and the biggest in Japan, these ‘wedded rocks’ seem to stand strangely balanced on the edge of the cliff, but these are natural shapes formed by the erosion of the limestone. Simply amazing!
Not only is the size and balance of the rocks spectacular, the view towards Nariwa River is superb.
With the ‘wedded rocks’ watching over, it’s surely a view that has remained almost unchanged for millennia. It’s just so charming, it’s easy to forget the time…
Nearby, there is a trail surrounded by abundant nature, which offers views of the ‘wedded rocks’ from different angles.
As it’s an area of limestone, you can see plants that thrive in alkaline soil. During autumn, it’s also a lovely area to enjoy the autumn foliage. On the day of my visit, I could see some color on the leaves.
This is the view from the northern observation deck.
If you look at the opposite side, you can see the southern observation deck and the “Oni no Mura Meoto Iwa Shrine”. From here you can see how amazingly the rocks are balanced.
The view from the observation deck below the rock is also sublime. The sky and the mountains, as well as Nariwa River, smooth and calm like a mirror. It’s a view symbolic of Okayama’s abundant nature.
In addition to events such as lighting up the stones and a festival at the rocks, you can also head to Fukiya (https://setouchifinder.com/en/detail/721/), which is known for its rouge!
Come and feast your eyes on magnificent views interwoven with outstanding nature in the hidden valley of Okayama.
Location: 2740 Fuyori, Nariwa-cho, Takahashi city, Okayama prefecture
Setouchi Finder Photo-writers: Katsutoshi Asai / Asami Asai (Kokohore Japan)
Katsutoshi Asai Producer and member of the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association. Born in Yokohama in 1974, Katsutoshi is married and has a young son. Although he started his career with an advertising agency, he went to join the Tower Records team. Katsutoshi was involved with brand management, sales campaigns, collaboration work, and live events. Through his career, he experienced being the Sales Promotion Manager, and the Manager of the Live Entertainment Department. However, in 2012, Katsuyoshi retired from Tower Records and moved to Seto city, Okayama prefecture - a place where he had no prior friends, connections or relatives. Soon after moving, he joined the Setouchi Regional Revitalization Association, and in July 2013 founded Kokohore Japan and began a number of projects to re-task old traditional buildings, invent new specialty products, and work on regional branding. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/ Asami Asai Editor & Writer I mainly write about social news, music, and lifestyles. I was born and raised in Tokyo, but in 2012 I decided on a whim to move to Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture. I contribute to magazines such as Liniere, Inakagurashi no Hon, and ku:nel. I publish books for my 'interesting' friends, too, and direct and write for programs at FM Okayama. Everyday I write about people and things for both readers and listeners. Website: Kokohore Japan http://kkhr.jp/
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