The Megaliths of Rokkosan: Koshiki-Iwa Jinja

Rokkosan is a fascinating mountain range in Hyogo-ken. It forms the mountains that are the backdrop to the port city of Kobe. As we wrote elsewhere, one of the shrines (Ikuta Jinja) on the mountain faces the port and has served as a lighthouse for ships at sea. The buildings of Kobe look new, and perhaps they are newly built, after the disastrous Kobe Hanshin earthquake of 1995. Prior to that, the city suffered greatly from American firebombing in 1945. Now the city is quite prosperous as a center of business activity. The cable car takes skiers and nature lovers up to the peak for a fine view of the city below. Many young and not-so-young regularly walk these hiker-friendly mountains. And yet, Rokkosan keeps its mystique.

There are many important shrines in the Kobe area. In fact, one of them, gave its name to the city. Kobe comes from Kambe, people appointed by the Emperor to maintain the shrine, and it means “Door to the Kami”.

Rokkosan has since prehistoric days been regarded as sacred. Megaliths of different types are found in those mountains, and some have clearly been worked by human hands. Standing stones in the mountains were the first shrines created by man. Archaeologists have found artifacts supporting ceremonies held on sacred grounds from long ago.

We present our photos of megaliths at different locations of Rokkosan. Here, we showcase the megaliths of Koshiki-iwa Jinja.

Koshiki-iwa Megalith Monument of Wakahime Shrine

This is the megalithic monument towering over the Wakahima hokora. See that post. These are photos of the front, side and back. Note how beautifully the arcs of the two stones fit.

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Other megaliths on the grounds include a grouping with a small passageway. The compass (red arrow points north) indicates that the alignment of the passageway is toward the west, probably sunset of the equinoxes.

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Another east-west alignment passageway, and other megaliths.

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