Shinseki Shiroishi (God Stone of Shiroishi) – Shiroishi, Japan - Atlas Obscura

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Shinseki Shiroishi (God Stone of Shiroishi)

Shiroishi, Japan

A town's namesake rock has served as a spiritual matchmaker for hundreds of years. 


On a modest street corner of Shiroishi lies the curious little object that gave the city in northern Japan its name. A small white rock (shiro ishi in Japanese) quietly gathers moss as most residents and tourists pass it by. Far more than just a geological landmark, this rock has a reputation for its magical properties.

The rock measures about 1.5 meters in diameter and is composed of a grayish tuff. In feudal times, it was regarded as Shinseki, or the “god stone.” It is said to have a very deep “root,” which extends all the way to its partner rock in Sendai. Just as this stone is connected to its partner, Shinseki promises to connect people to theirs. Legend has it that if one prays for a good life partner at this spot, that wish will come true. Unfortunately, no information is available on how swiftly these requests will be fulfilled.

Know Before You Go

Searching for "神石白石" on Google Maps will get you there. For those who prefer a more analog approach, go north down the hill from Shiroishi Castle. After the steps, continue past the small hedged garden to the first road. Turn right onto this road, and left at the first junction. The sacred rock will be on your left just before you reach the next street.

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June 1, 2021

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