This series of six sacred rock formations near Nanjo City was once the epicenter of a thriving native religion which once spread all across the Ryukyu Islands (now modern Okinawa). Like the Shintoists of the mainland, the native Okinawans worshipped nature in all its glory, and Sefa Utaki was the place which best represented it.
The rock formations themselves are accessible by a walking trail which snakes along the slope of a seaside hill, through thick forest. For millennia it’s been thought of as a “power spot,” and was fully recognized as such in the 16th century when some of the Ryukyu nation’s most important ceremonies were held there, such as the anointment of priestesses.
White sand from the island of Kudaka — the island of the gods — was scattered around to purify the spot for these events, and Sefa Utaki still has a reputation as a spot of particular spiritual cleanliness. Nowadays many people visit here as part of the Ryukyu pilgrimage route, “Agariumai,” which follows the path taken by devotees of old.
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