The Ishi-no-Hōden (石の宝殿) megalith in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan
Image credit Miles Gray
The Ishi-no-Hōden megalith is thought to have been cut from its surrounding rock some 1,500 years ago and, if freestanding, would weigh in the region of 500 tons. It sits at the centre of a pond and appears to float above the surface of the water. As with many sacred objects in Japan (including natural objects such as trees) the Ishi-no-Hōden megalith is adorned with a sacred rice-straw rope known as a shimenawa. Milies Gray, on his website, describes the Ishi-no-Hōden megalith as –
A mysterious dug-out cube monument in a quarry. Known as one of the three greatest enigmas in Japan. Now worshiped as the god of the Ōshiko Jinja Shinto shrine. Although the structure of the top is concealed by pine trees, they suspect that there may be two holes like Masada-no-Iwafune and Kengoshizuka-kofun. The name of the nearest station is named after this site “Houden”.
The German doctor Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866), who entered isolated Japan disguised as a Dutchman, later presented his drawing of Ishi-no-Hōden in volume 1 of his books “NIPPON” (1832).
Image credit 阿部 吾郎