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Oniga-jo: The Demon Castle That Has Unique Rock Formations & Breathtaking Views Of The Sea

Oniga-jo in Mie

Located in Mie Prefecture, Oniga-jo (鬼ヶ城; demon castle) is a natural rock wall that stretches across the coastline of Ise-Shima for 1.2km. Its uniquely beautiful rock formations have led to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, as part of the Kumano pilgrimage route in the Kii Mountain Range.

How the demon castle got its name

onigajo - rock formations
Image credit: @lynn_orin

According to the official promotional website for Oniga-jo, there used to be oni (鬼; demons) that dwelled on these very rocks. The oni caused turbulent waves and tempestuous winds that shaped the rocks to be what they are today.

Picture perfect rock formations

onigajo - rock paths
Image adapted from: @_rossifumi_46

If you wish to see the beautiful rock formations in their full glory, be sure to visit Oniga-jo during a clear, sunny day. Pro tip: you can avoid the crowd if you visit Oniga-jo early in the morning.

Since the rock formations were formed naturally, do be careful while hiking as the ground will be uneven. Remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring a hiking stick with you should you need it.

onigajo - cave
Image credit: @r7__happylife

onigajo - honeycomb rock patterns
Image credit: @takeshi_sakiyama_shibadog_0710

Keep an eye out for the unique honeycomb patterns on the ceiling of the caves – they were formed as a result of wind erosion. With the natural light of the glaring afternoon sun seeping into the caves, the rock formation frames a spectacular view of the Kumano ocean.

onigajo - silhouette photo
Image adapted from: @mikadukin3

The caves are perfect backdrops for silhouette photos on days where the skies are clear and vibrant.

onigajo - sunset
Image credit: @hirohiro_3dayo

If you aren’t a morning person, fret not as the sunset views at Oniga-jo are equally phenomenal. Watch as the glowing orange ball sinks into the glistening Kumano ocean while the sky slowly transitions into a myriad of colours.

onigajo - night
Image credit: @os__0114

After the sun sets, Oniga-jo takes on a whole different vibe as countless stars adorn the night sky. Even if you get whisked away by an oni, the exquisite view might just make up for it.

onigajo - stars
Image credit: @kun0606

Getting to Oniga-jo

Possessing different kinds of charm during different times of the day, Oniga-jo is the perfect stop for nature lovers. If you are ever planning a trip to Mie Prefecture, be sure to include the demon castle on your list.

Address: 1835 Kinomotocho, Kumano, 519-4323 Mie Prefecture
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Telephone: 0597-89-1502

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Cover image adapted from: @lynn_orin, @os__0114, and @r7__happylife