Exploring Okinawa: Boost your ‘power’ at Daisekirinzan

Photos by Shoji Kudaka
Photos by Shoji Kudaka

Exploring Okinawa: Boost your ‘power’ at Daisekirinzan

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

“Power spot” is a term which, I think, reflects the Japanese obsession with luck. According to a dictionary, the term surfaced in the mid-1990s to refer to “locations filled with psychic power.”

In mainland Japan, prominent temples, shrines and natural landscapes such as mountains and rivers are considered power spots.

Here on Okinawa, visits to power spots will likely be explorations into sanctuaries with unique natural landscapes, like Daisekirinzan, a rocky mountain at the north end of Okinawa’s main island. According to its website, Daisekirizan’s interesting topography is a result from changes in the earth’s crust over the course of more than 200 million years.

When I visited the mountain in early April, I saw many tourists who came to enjoy the unusual look of the mountain, take a hike on a road surrounded by banyan trees and be surprised by the beautiful view of Cape Hedo from the top.

I also saw some local folks there seeking spiritual power.

“I am from the neighboring area of this mountain.  I have been coming to this place since I was a kid. Touching stones and trees here gives me power,” said Sue Shinzato, an elderly lady who came all the way from Naha City with her two sisters.

Once called Ashimui or Asumui, which means “the forest of the oldest,” this mountain is mentioned in the myths of Ryukyu as a location where the history of the country started. Daisekirinzan has a been a place for locals wishing for spiritual power and luck for health, safe travel, bloodline, art, land transactions and development for nearly 600 years, according to tour guide Tamotsu Hiura.  
Huira explained that for many the mountain’s power has brought many miracles for others.

“We had a visitor who could not walk without a cane. But once he seated himself on ‘Kotsubanseki (pelvis rock),’ one of the power spots on the mountain, he started walking with no problem and went back home, leaving behind his cane,” Hiura said. “Many people come to the mountain, desperately looking for some luck for health, love and having a baby. Some come here after being summoned in a dream.”

As if to bless people who come to this sacred mountain for all kinds of reasons, there are sacred sites (power spots) with unique names and power: “Kotsubanseki (pelvis rock)” for health and easy delivery, “Umarekawarino Ishi (reincarnation rock)” for another chance with a clean slate, and “Jinaganasi (Sir/Madam. Money)” for financial success, just to name a few.

Since there are many power spots on Okinawa and across all of Japan, you might need to find out which one will apply to what you’re seeking luck for.

“It depends upon individuals which power spot works best,” Hiura explained. “If you are looking for specific kind of luck, I can recommend power spots for that.”

You might end up finding your own power spot because it is up to how you feel. No matter which spot you choose, it’s important to remember that they’re sacred sites that should be respected.

“Sanctuaries in Okinawa such as Daisekirinzan can be interpreted as the prototype of shrines or temples in mainland Japan even though they may not have a gate or main halls,” Hiura said.  “In fact, locations on the mainland where you now see shrines and temples, are the ones where people used to feel special power a long time ago.”

Since the special “power” belongs to nature, many power spots and sanctuaries welcome everybody. It doesn’t matter where you are from or which religion you follow, so long as you are mindful of the area, don’t touch certain stones or trees, and are respectful of others around you.

Hours: 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Ticket counter closes at 4:30 p.m.)
GPS Coordinates: N 26.861441, E 128.254575
Form: mountain
What makes it a Power Spot: Huge rocks and banyan trees with unique shapes. Some sacred sites require an escort by tour guide. 
Admission: 1,200 yen for adults (15 years old and above), 550 yen for children (ages 4 to 14)
Tel: 0980-41-8117

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Japan
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web