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5 iconic torii gates in Japan

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By Cassandra Lord

Torii gates are iconic symbols found throughout Shinto shrines in Japan. They mark the crossing between the normal world to the sacred world. In ancient Japan, they were traditionally made of wood or stone, but today, they are made of reinforced concrete and even stainless steel.

They can also be absolutely massive, towering over trees and buildings. Some are found in the middle of the city, others in rural forests or on lonely mountains. Some are even in the water, such as Miyajima’s Itsukushima Shrine, famous for its “floating” torii gate.

While torii make great photo opportunities, they also mark important places of worship, so it’s good to know a bit about what you’re visiting before you do. Here are five iconic torii gates in Japan.

1. Torii of Peace

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The torii floats just close enough to land. Photo: iStock/Phil McMannis

The Torii of Peace at Hakone Shrine is one of the most sought torii gates for photographers and sightseers. That’s because of its unique position where it appears to be floating on the water but is close enough to land that you can stand in the center and pose with it.

Hakone Shrine itself is a bit distanced from the famous torii gate, through the luscious greens of the trees and up a stone staircase. There are also two other large torii gates, making the shrine’s location clearer in the dense forest. There, you can find out more about the history of the shrine in the homotsuden (shrine treasure house), or get omamori (protective charms).

The shrine has a long history going back as far as the year 757 and was famously visited by many military commanders, as well as by travelers to pray for a safe trip. The area is known as a “power spot,” where you can pray for various different blessings, including fortune, traffic safety and matchmaking.

Shrine: Hakone Shrine

80-1 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo District, Kanagawa 250-0522 - Map

Nearest station: Hakone Tozan Bus

Nearest bus stop: Hakone-jinja-iriguchi

Treasure House hours: 9 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.(last admission 4 p.m.)

2. Kamiiso-no-Torii

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This gate stands proud against the perilous sea. Photo: iStock/Tg-pint

Click here to read more.

© GaijinPot

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3 Comments
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I was married at Itsukushima Shrine. It's a beautiful place.

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The steel Torii at Yasukuni Shrine is also impressive!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yasukuni shrine's Torii is nice.

Especially nice when the sakura are in bloom.

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