Life in Japan – Inyoseki Fertility Shrine

By May 25, 2009 Japan No Comments

Infertility or the inability to have a babies plagues a lot of couples.

In Japan…they have an answer to that problem. And its name is Inyoseki!

I think there is a sort of ritual to bringing someone new to this place. It’s located in Kobayashi, Miyazaki, Kyushu, Japan. Basically the countryside of southern Japan. So just being out in the middle of nowhere one lets their guard down.

I remember the first time I was brought here. I wasn’t told where we were going. I wasn’t even given a hint. But my host was snickering and giggling like a little school girl the whole way there.

As you pass through the gate, there are no real signs. In fact the first thing you see is a wedding chapel. I was even more confused in seeing this western styled wedding chapel in the middle of the countryside.

But we went past that and puled around to a parking lot with a few souvenir shops. The time we were visiting everything was closed. So we brisked by the shops and I was greeted by this…

Look past the gate and tell me what you see?

Yea, you are right. That does look like a giant penis shaped rock.

This is Inyoseki. The fertility shrine of the south. Couples from all over Japan will come here to pray/wish for fertility. The rock was formed naturally by a lava flow. And if you follow Japanese religious beliefs you will understand that they find a god in any interesting naturally formed structure. The rope you see around the shaft is a symbol of a god living in that rock.

I was told there is an equally massive rock formation in the shape of a vagina right next to the penis. I never saw it. But then again, I was never looking for it.

There is an amazingly beautiful emerald colored river that flows past the structure. In the summer I would be hard pressed to restrain myself from diving in.

A view headed back towards the shops.

Back past the shops and the main attraction there is a little path. You can even avoid the shops and pull your car down a hidden road to get to another location. This shot was taken by a close friend the last time I took them to visit this wonderful place. This is the path that loops around.

After you break out of the trees you get the side view of the attraction. I of course had to scale a few rocks and get into the shot for perspective.

Continuing on, there is a little bridge that leads you to a small structure. This shot is looking back over the bridge at the rock formation.

Oh yes. This is where the fun happens.

If you look back at the previous photo you will understand what we are looking through. It’s a massively hallowed out tree stump. But what is that in the distance?

Oh! I giant wooden penis carved from a tree. Duh!~

In the back of this building are quite a few stone sculptures. They all have the same hat.

Do you see a theme here?

If you have any spare change, please feel free to contribute.

A closeup of one of the statues.

I honestly don’t have a caption for this…

But this is what it looks like from the back.

Headed back, you dont have to leave yet. If you don’t mind hoping some rocks, you can get down to the stream.

The last time I came down here I scared the hell out of some fishermen. By accident of course.

If this doesn’t say swim in me, I don’t know what does.

Here is about as far down stream as you want to get. From here it gets rather boring.

So now you know all about Inyoseki.

The last time we were there, it looked abandoned. The small shack in the back was well overgrown with weeds and plants. And the shops hadn’t looked like they had been open in a while. And that chapel in the front, I think it was falling apart.

It would be a shame to see this gone from public eye. But as long as you can access it, and push a few overgrown plants aside. The rocks will be there long after the tourists have left.

If you are in Kyushu, this is a must see! Enjoy.

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