Welcome to the Land of Kumano. Izanami moves using AR!

Resting peacefully in Kumano, a Shinto mother goddess who birthed gods and the land of Japan


The mother goddess who gave birth to gods and the land of Japan, she loves the flowers of each season and even today continues to watch over Japan from the Land of Kumano. The O-Tsunakake-Shinji festival continues to be held regularly at Hana-no-Iwaya Shrine since the days of the Nihon Shoki.

Legends of Higashikishu

Not only did Izanami-no-Mikoto create the land of Japan together with her husband, Izanagi-no-Mikoto, but she is also known as the mother of the gods, having given birth to 8,000,000 gods, including Amaterasu O-mikami (Japan's Sun Goddess) and Susanoo-no-Mikoto. Izanami-no-Mikoto died after sustaining severe burns while giving birth to Kagutsuchi-no-Mikoto, the Fire God. Izanagi-no-Mikoto was overcome with grief at the death of his beloved wife and buried her remains in Arima Village in Kumano (present-day Arima town in Kumano City). The World Heritage-designated site Hana-no-Iwaya is the mausoleum of Izanami-no-Mikoto.

Compiled 1,400 years ago, the Nihon Shoki states that the residents of Arima Village would offer prayers for the soul of Izanami-no-Mikoto by offering seasonal flowers and singing and dancing. This tradition continues today through the O-Tsunakake-Shinji Festival, which is held at the World Heritage-designated site Hana-no-Iwaya Shrine on the 2nd of February and October of every year.

The O-Tsunakake-Shinji Festival is a Shinto ritual in which an about 170 m rope—the longest in Japan—is pulled from the top of the enormous 45-meter-high boulder that is the shrine's object of worship to Shichirimihama, then around the shrine grounds, to pray for a bountiful harvest.

The rope is hung with minagare-no-hatagata (three braided flags symbolizing the gods Tsukuyomi, Amaterasu, and Susanoo), a variety of seasonal flowers, fans, and other adornments tied together.

Places where you can meet Izanami-no-Mikoto!AR Spot Introduction


Mentioned in the Nihon Shoki (book of classical Japanese history completed in 720), the World Heritage-designated site Hana-no-Iwaya Shrine is Japan's oldest Shinto shrine. Izanami-no-Mikoto is believed to dwell in the shrine's object of worship, an enormous 45-meter-high boulder. Entering the shrine grounds, you are enveloped in a mystical sensation.
Hana-no-Iwaya Shrine was registered as a World Heritage Site as part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range in July 2004.

The O-Tsunakake-Shinji Festival

QR code locations

Michi-no-Eki Kumano Hana-no-Iwaya
137 Arima Town, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture
(Near the entrance)

This tourist facility is adjacent to Hananoiwaya-jinja. In addition to a wide variety of local specialty products and souvenirs, the facility also sells udon noodles, rice balls, sanma (saury) sushi, and mehari-zushi (a traditional rice dish) made with ancient rice varieties.


Access to Michi-no-Eki Kumano Hana-no-Iwaya

Public transportation

  • About a 15-minute walk from JR Kumanoshi Station
  • From the Kumanoshi-eki-mae bus stop outside JR Kumanoshi Station, take the Mie Kotsu bus and get off at the Hana-no-Iwaya bus stop. (Michi-no-Eki Kumano Hana-no-Iwaya is near the bus stop.)

By car

  • (From Owase) Drive from the Kumano-Odomari Interchange along National Route 42 and turn left at the T-junction, then drive for about 5 minutes.
  • (From Shingu) Drive along National Route 42 and turn left at the Hana-no-Iwaya-jinja Intersection.

Links to related information