Otatsu Metatsu Rocks (雄龍・雌龍の岩) in Tanegashima

(Map of Locations)

"Long ago in a house high above the ocean cliffs there lived a hardworking couple named Tatsugoro and Tatsue. One night during a violent storm the cliffside collapsed, and their home was washed out into the sea. Both of their lives were lost.

Not a few months later, two massive rocks suddenly appeared side-by-side in the same place the couple had fallen. It is said that the local people saw these rocks as reincarnations of the married couple, and so named them 'Otatsu' (male dragon) and 'Metatsu' (female dragon).

The rocks are loved by the community even to this day."

The Otatsu Metatsu are two large basalt rocks that stand at the edge of the sea on Tanegashima's west coast. Driving south along Route 58, your first sight will be of a gift shop/restaurant and parking lot on your right.

From there a long walkway leads down to the rocks and shoreline.

They are known as 'married' rocks and are linked by a twisted straw rope (shimenawa) as is commonly seen in Shinto.  On the left side is Metatsu (or the 'female dragon') and on the right Otatsu (or the 'male dragon').  The latter is also adorned by a red torii gate.

The rocks are largely considered to be one of the best spots to watch the sunset on Tanegashima. 

Feel free to clamber about the oceanside for a closer view (but beware of insects in the warm weather).