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【Kumamoto】The mysterious floating stone in the air2016.01.04

160104★免の石

In Japan there are many spiritual places where people can feel refreshed and energized with special powers. Japanese people call those places ‘power spots’ and appreciate the powers. One of those spiritual places getting more attention by people is “Men-no-ishi” in Kumamoto Prefecture. It is located in the middle of the outer rim of Mt. Minami-Aso. “Men-no-ishi” is actually a huge stone which seems to be floating in the air. In fact, it is sandwiched between rock walls. Due to repeated erosion breakdown caused by wind and water during volcanic eruptions over 27 million years, the stone somehow got stuck in a miraculous balance. It can be seen on TV often recently, and it is becoming popular. Because the stone has been stuck for ages and looks like it never ever drops, visiting “Men-no-ishi” is very popular especially among students preparing for school entrance exams, as the word ‘drop’ means to fail in an exam in Japanese.

To get to the “Men-no-ishi,” taking a trekking tour with a guide offered by Minami-Aso Tourism Association is necessary, and the reservation must be done three days in advance. Individual treks are not allowed as the area is a private property. Trekking to “Men-no-ishi” takes roughly an hour. You can choose from a two-hour trek or a four-hour trek. Visitors can enjoy beautiful nature of Minami-Aso. As they walk in the moss-covered slippery trackless forest, proper gears such as trekking shoes and a pair of gloves are required. The view up there is breathtaking and it is definitely worth seeing. Try taking unique photos with the floating stone!

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