Mother Nature attempts to reclaim the path at this rugged tourist site filled with mystery and beauty. 

Japan’s southernmost prefecture of Okinawa stretches out over a chain of about 150 islands, all varying in size and each with a unique appeal. And while some of these islands are more remote than others, a few of them are easily accessible by bridge from the main island, making them easy to visit for a daytrip or an overnight stay.

One such island is Kouri, and that’s where our Japanese-language reporter Ikuna Kamezawa recently visited, after learning it was home to a power spot with a pair of unique rock formations known as Heart Rock.

▼ Travelling to Kouri Island over a two-kilometre (1.2-mile) long toll-free bridge.

Before the bridge was completed about 15 years ago, some fearless locals were known to swim from one island to the other, often risking their lives.

When Ikuna arrived on the island, after about a two-hour drive from the capital of Naha, she was immediately struck by the rugged natural landscape. She was also surprised to learn that there are no convenience stores on the island, but that wasn’t an issue for Ikuna, as she was on a mission to find the coastal power spot that draws tourists to its shores every year.

▼ As she drew close to the power spot, she saw an old weatherbeaten sign directing visitors to Heart Rock.

Kouri Island is compact in size — you can drive around its perimeter in about ten minutes — so even if you don’t have a map or GPS, you’ll be able to find Heart Rock as long as you follow the main coastal road.

▼ This handpainted sign at the site reads, “Power Spot Entrance”

After parking the car at the parking lot, the walk to Heart Rock surrounds you in nature, and as you breathe in the crisp coastal air and brush past the long grasses at the side of the path, you begin to feel the power of the area invigorating your senses and calming your soul.

▼ You’ll have to watch your step, though, as the path is really rocky and can become very slippery in wet weather.

Ikuna was actually surprised at the condition of the narrow path, as it looked more like a rocky, hand-cleared trail in the middle of nowhere than a designated walkway for tourists. The raw power of nature made itself felt all along the path, spilling out from the sides as if it wanted to reclaim the space cut out between it by humans.

▼ On the path, another handpainted sign spells out the name of the cove — “Tinuhama” — for visitors.

▼ The path comes to an end after about ten minutes, with a glimpse of the ocean from between the trees

▼ As you exit the brush, you go down a steep slope…

▼ …And Heart Rock appears in front of you!

At first, it’s hard to see the heart here. It simply looks like two rocks protruding from the sea. One of the rocks kind of looks like a heart, while the other looks like…well, a rock.

However, when you walk along the shoreline, and get to a certain point, the rocks line up perfectly to form the shape of a heart!

▼ When two imperfect hearts overlap, a perfect heart is born.

With this sort of symbolism at play, it’s no wonder this power spot is a particularly popular destination for couples. Still, all sorts of people, regardless of their relationship status, make the trip here to see the unusual rock formations fall into place as they walk along the beach.

This beach is usually crowded with local and international visitors, but domestic travellers have it to themselves at the moment, due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

Ikuna stood in place and took the obligatory Heart Rock photo to share on her social media accounts. She was lucky to come when the tide was high, because that’s when the rocky heart appears to be floating upon the waves. At low tide, the rocks are exposed, allowing visitors to walk out to the rocks and see them close-up.

Ikuna loved her trip to Heart Rock and highly recommends it to visitors, regardless of whether they’re in a relationship, or single like herself. The sound of the crashing waves and the surrounding natural landscape makes this a high-ranking power spot that’ll leave you feeling reinvigorated and ready to take on the challenges life throws at you.

Kind of like this Jurassic Park-like power spot at Daisekirinzan in northern Okinawa.

Site Information
Heart Rock / 心形石
Address: Okinawa-ken, Kunigami-gun, Nakajin, Kouri 2
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]