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We get to enter a holy land that’s been protected since ancient times, and it reminds us of the world of Princess Mononoke.
Recently, our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa has been on a mission to enter as many prohibited areas in Japan as possible. That doesn’t mean he’s illegally entering private property, though, as the forbidden areas that appeal to him are the ones that visitors enter at their own risk, with the possible repercussions being a curse on their souls.
So when he heard about a forbidden forest called Izuru no Mori in Ishikawa Prefecture, he immediately took to the Internet to find out more. That’s when he discovered the forest was actually a sanctuary located behind the main shrine of Keta Grand Shrine, which has a history stretching back more than 2,000 years.
▼ Pilgrimages to the forbidden forest can be booked on official website (seen in the red section below)
Looking closely at the fine print, Seiji found that visitors are required to pay a 3,000 yen (US$27.78) prayer fee in order to enter the forest. Seiji figured this was a bargain, especially when he realised that rather than being cursed, those who enter the forest are said to “receive the blessing of the gods“.
Having entered so many cursed sites in the past, Seiji was in dire need of a blessing, so when he found that tickets can be booked online before your visit, he whipped out his credit card and immediately made a booking.
As he searched around the Internet for more information about the hidden forest, Seiji discovered that the holy area became open to the public for the first time in 400 years on 1 December 2019. While it was only scheduled to be open to the public for one month, the period was extended, with tickets currently available up until 9 May 2021.
Pleased to have found out about the forbidden forest while there was still a chance to see it, Seiji made his way to Ishikawa, and when he arrived, it was pouring with rain, which somehow made the site seem even more mystical.
As he approached the main shrine, he was greeted by a large signboard that read “Forbidden Forest Pilgrimage“, with an arrow guiding visitors to the entrance.
After stopping at the reception desk to show his ticket, Seiji was guided into the hall of worship for a purification ceremony to help cleanse his spirit before entering the virgin forest. The priest began the ceremony by giving thanks at the altar before waving an oonusa (a pole with paper streamers attached to it) over Seiji. The oonusa acts like a purification wand, and as the sound of the shrine drums rang out through the rain, Seiji felt his shoulders becoming lighter and his spirit lifting, as if all the curses he’d accumulated through past visits to forbidden areas were finally leaving his body.
With his spirit now cleansed, Seiji was ready to enter the holy area to receive the blessings of the gods. He was guided to the right-hand side of the Hall of Worship, where he got his first glimpse at the beauty of the natural environment in the area with this scene, which reminded hum of the magical kodama forest spirits from the Ghibli animated film Princess Mononoke.
As he approached the entrance to the forest, he saw a torii gate, which is used to mark the path of the gods. These gates often appear at entrances to shrines in Japan, and once you enter them, the polite etiquette is to walk on the left or right-hand side of the path that follows as you walk up to the shrine, as the centre of the path is said to be reserved for the gods.
The gate pictured above, however, is used to signify that the forest behind it is sacred, and visitors are not allowed to walk through it at all. Instead, visitors are required to enter the forest through a wooden gate at the top of a set of stone steps to the left of the torii.
The forest is so sacred that photography is prohibited past this point, so the photos that follow were kindly provided to us by the shrine’s official photographer. The first thing Seiji noticed when he entered the wooded area, with a shrine priest by his side to guide him, was the fact that the path was covered in nylon, as a countermeasure to prevent shoes from touching the forest soil.
The Forbidden Forest, which is believed to have existed for around 3,500 years, is protected as a National Natural Monument, due to the fact that it’s “a place where you can see the prototype of the Japanese forest“. Therefore, bacteria and non-native species from the soles of visitors’ shoes can run the risk of threatening the delicate forest ecosystem.
Because of this, touching trees in the forest is also not allowed, even if they come close to the path. Seiji saw many of these large trees right beside him as he made his way along the 40-50 metre (131-164 foot) long pathway, and was careful to avoid them as he walked past them.
It was a scenery he never would’ve imagined possible from outside, with the plants and trees living harmoniously, thriving through symbiotic relationships that we humans costantly strive to achieve in our everyday lives.
Seiji could feel the dynamism of life in the whirlpool of trees that surrounded him. According to the shrine priest, the trees here grow branches while competing for sunlight, and as the branches break due to snow and wind, they create new patches of sunlight and new space for other branches to grow, constantly evolving like one living, breathing entity that encapsulates the awesome power of nature.
The forest was truly awe-inspiring in its natural, rugged beauty, and Seiji and the priest stopped midway to worship the area with two bows, two claps, and one bow, in the same way worshippers pay their respects at shrine buildings in Japan.
After they’d paid their respects to the sacred area, the Forbidden Forest pilgrimage was complete, and Seiji was released back out into the concrete jungle. The whole experience, including the purification ceremony, took around 16 minutes, with the forest visit taking about seven minutes.
Though it may have been short, the visit was incredibly impactful, and now that Seiji has received the blessings of the gods, we’ll just have to wait and see if he’s prepared to dance with the devil again, like he did when he entered this cursed tunnel and took his chances with the vengeful spirit of a samurai.
Keta Grand Shrine / 能登國一宮 気多大社
Address: Ishikawa-ken, Hakui-shi, Jikemachi, Ku1-1
Torii Gates Mark Sacred Ground at Japan's Holy Sites
Japan is dotted with bold archways that stand apart from the regular landscape. Some are more elaborate than others, but the basics remain: two pillars adjoined by one or two beams. Called torii, these gateways aren't mere decoration. In the Shinto religion, they symbolize the transition from the mundane to the sacred. They mark the entrance into a shrine.
Many are a bright vermilion color, others more subtle in color — made of stone or wood — and still others are made of copper or stainless steel. No matter the color or material, the shape is striking and recognizable.
Torii have been around for centuries, though their true origin is shrouded in mystery. The word itself derives from phrases that mean "pass through and enter" and "bird perch" (in Japan, birds have a symbolic connection with death). The earliest toriis that still stand today were built as far back as the 12th century, but the structure's history stretches back to the Heian period in the 900s. Though torii archways were historically meant to distinguish Shinto shrines from Buddhist shrines, Buddhist temples have also used torii gates (for example, the oldest state-built Buddhist temple c. 593 has its own torii).
However they came to be — whether by influence from other Asian cultures that have similar gate-like structures near holy sites or from sheer Japanese architectural ingenuity – torii add a sense of wonder to the Japanese landscape. Scroll through to enjoy these beautiful examples:
On Lake Ashi near Mount Fuji, a giant red-orange torii marks the entrance to the sacred ground surrounding Hakone Shrine (this is also the torii featured in the beginning of this post).
One of the most iconic torii gates is the "Floating Gate" on the Japan's island of Itsukushima (also known as Miyajima). The raised complex, which appears to float only when the tide is in, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Notice the additional legs surrounding each pillar – this is the mark of Ryōbu Shinto style, associated with Shingon Buddhism, though the shrine today is Shinto.
It is one of Japan's most impressive torii, and for good reason: the island is considered sacred, so pure that no deaths or births have been allowed here since 1878. All terminally ill people and late-term pregnant women are sent back to the mainland to maintain the trend.
The contrast of red and green around the entrance to the Kasuga Shrine in the Japan's Nara Prefecture is striking. Moss-covered stone lanterns lead to the shrine's entrance. The pathway goes through Deer Park, where deer are viewed as messengers of the local Shinto gods.
An example of a torii at a Buddhist temple is this beautiful frozen landscape near Enryaku-ji monastery on Mount Hiei near Kyoto. The Japanese Mahayana Buddhist (or Tendai) temple is also the headquarters of the religious sect, and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A towering torii marks the Kumano Kodo sacred trail in Wakayama, Japan. The trails lead to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano, a pilgrimage site in the Shinto religion.
On a rocky outcrop into the sea, the Oarai Isozaki Jinja shrine appears to rise out of the mist in Oarai, Japan. This picturesque torii gate has become a major tourist attraction.
Torii gates by the thousands line the path to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto. The shrine is dedicated to the kami Inari, long seen as the patron of business. Each torii has been donated by a business.
Bright red torii gates in Osaka complement the changing trees of autumn.
The "Married Couple" rocks in Nagasaki, Japan are a sacred outcrop of rocks near the Futami Okitama Shrine. The torii rests on the husband rock, and a rope weighing more than a ton connects the two rocks. In Shinto, the rocks represent the union of the male and female creators of kami. The rocks therefore symbolize the sacred union of marriage.
The torii leading to the Ise Grand Shrine in Ise, Mie, Japan can be found in this tranquil forest setting. The Ise Grand Shrine is a complex of several holy Shinto shrines, and public access is limited.
Shirahige Shrine : The Hidden Floating Torii Gate
This magnificent view of the floating torii gate can be seen at Shirahige Shrine (白鬚神社). This actually looks similar to the one at Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island, Hiroshima, but this one is located in Shiga prefecture. The floating gate of Shirahige Shrine stands on Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan.
The main hall of the shrine is located inland opposite the floating torii gate. Shirahige Shrine has accordingly over 1900 years history and is known for the divine favour for long life, health and safety. It has been popular as a power spot among locals but because of the magnificent view of the floating torii gate, more and more tourists started visiting in a past couple of years.
Shirahige Shrine is not very easy to access with public transport and it&rsquos much better if you drive, but it&rsquos totally worth questing for. The nearest station (Oumitakashima Station) is accessible from Kyoto. If you wish to capture the special moment, we recommend you to get there before sunrise in early morning. The view of the sun rising behind the majestic torii gate is just breathtaking.
Access: 30 mins walk or 5 mins by taxi from JR Oumitakashima Station (40 mins from Kyoto Station by JR Kosai Line)
&darr&darr&darrFor more articles about Japan, check these links!! &darr&darr&darr
Kami in the Shrines – Shinto Shrine
What is enshrined in the main hall? Quite roughly, various kami (Sinto deities) are enshrined and it can be numbers of kami.
- Kami of Natural Phenomena
- the sun, the moon, the stars, the fire, the storm, the wind, the fog, and so on.
- Kami of climate
- Kami of animals
- serpent, a large tree, dragon, wolf, cow, fox, bear, and so on.
- Kami of plants
- Kami of natural features
- mountains, rivers, seas, waterfalls, valleys, rocks, stones, and so on
- Kami of Mythology
- Amaterasu-Omikami (the sun deity), Okuninushi (deity of Izumo), Ninigi-no-Mikoto (grandson of Amaterasu and ancestor of the Imperial family), and so on.
- Kami of Human
- Emperor Meiji and Empress Shokei, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Nogi Maresuke and Nogi Shizuko, Togo Heihachiro, and so on.
There are distinctions among kami which are enshrined the main kami, partner kami, and other kami.
Get your copy on Amazon: A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine by Nelson Joh (Author) A Year in the Life of a Shinto Shrine describes the ritual cycle at Suwa Shrine, Nagasaki’s major Shinto shrine and John K. Nelson’s observations of over fifty shrine rituals and festivals.
The Shrine Compound
A shrine can come in all shapes and sizes, but most of the time they have similar features and parts. Each component of a Shinto shrine exists for a reason, and understanding the significance and function of them can play a part in a better visiting experience.
Torii Gate: The Shrine Gate
The torii gate is the structure that stands at the entrance of the shrine, and acts as the shrine gate. This is probably the first feature seen before entering the sacred ground. The distinctive form of the torii is recognised all around the world as an icon marking the presence of a Shinto shrine.
Sando: The Worshipper’s Path
The sando is also known as the worshipper’s path, and is the walkway — often paved with gravel or flagstone — that leads into the shrine and its constituent components.
Shimenawa: Sacred Rope
The shimenawa is a sacred rope tied around or across an object or space to denote its purity and sanctity.
Temizuya: The Cleansing Ritual
Most of the time situated right in front of the last torii gate is the temizuya, a covered area where clear, running water is found. Worshippers stop here before proceeding to wash their hands and mouth in an act of ritual.
Haiden: The Hall of Worship
At the end of the sando is the haiden, where worshippers pray and pay their respects to the gods of the shrine. There are different types of worship conducted inside and outside the hall.
Tamagaki: The Sacred Fence
The tamagaki is the sacred fence that encloses the main sanctuary, which lies beyond the haiden where the kami (or god) is enshrined.
Honden: Main Sanctuary
The honden is the shrine’s central structure and its most sacred space, as this is where the kami is enshrined.
Shamusho — Shrine Office
The shamusho is found inside the compound, and is a building for conducting business other than sacred rites and ceremonies. The priests, priestesses and other shrine personnel rest here when they are not performing their sacred duties. It is also the space where shrines hold lectures and take requests for special prayers or rites.
What are Torii Gates?
In front of every Japanese Shinto shrine there lay a gate made of two vertical posts connected by two posts on top. These gates are called “torii gates” and they are one of the defining characteristics of a Shinto shrine. While torii gates are always found at shrines, they may occasionally be found at Buddhist temples as well.
Torii gates represent the border between the secular world and the sacred worlds of the Shinto religion. The gates act as a passageway into a shrine’s sacred space. It is not uncommon for a shrine to have more than one torii gate. In these instances, each gate following another represents passage into an even more sacred space than what lay before.
When passing through a torii gate, it is customary to walk to the side instead of straight down the center. It is believed that the center space is reserved only for the kami to pass through. It is also custom to bow once before passing through the gate both upon entering and exiting the shrine. Even when exiting the shrine, the bow should be facing the shrine instead of outward.
Torii gates are most commonly found painted in vermillion paint or made of stone. Some gates are even made of ferroconcrete in order to ease maintenance. The vermillion gates are found at inari shrines, which enshrine the kami (deity) for crops, especially rice. Parishioners and worshippers donate the gates as an offering to the kami to bring good harvest. One of the most famous shrines to find vermillion torii gates would be the Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, which holds close to 10,000 vermillion torii gates.
The torii gate is a famous icon all over the world and can be used to identify a shrine. There are dozens of styles of torii gates, all with their own unique charm and beauty. This architecture adds greatly to Japan’s history and culture.
Explore Hakone Shrine (photos and info)
The photo that spawned my inspiration to visit Hakone Shrine was The Gentle Path To The Beyond by Trey Ratcliffe. Trey is an amazing HDR photographer, and if I had never seen his photo of the path leading the shrine, I would never have even thought about going to Hakone.
After talking to locals to find this path, I spent 30 minutes at mid-morning shooting this path, but the light wasn’t right. This path leads from the main transit area (which is a few short minutes walk) of Moto-Hakone toward the shrine. So upon leaving the shrine in the late afternoon, with a cloudy sky and more dispersed light, I finally got a decent shot…
Third Shrine Gate 「Dai-san-torii, 第三鳥居」
Hakone Shrine’s East Torii (HDR Photo)
This path runs from east to west. After walking a few minutes along the path, lined with traditional lamps and a mini-shrine, passing through a forest of tall cedar trees, the path opens to the main entry area to the shrine. To the right is a set of stairs leading up the mountain to Hakone Shrine. To the left is the famous torii gate which appears to be floating on water.
This is the heiwa-no-torii 「The Torii of Peace, 平和の鳥居」 which is an icon of the shrine. The torii lines up exactly with the stairs, and two torii gates (one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top), leading to the main hall of Hakone Shrine in a north-south orientation.
Personally, this is the best HDR photo I have ever taken in Japan. I don’t usually say things like this, but I feel it’s important to reflect positively on accomplishments you’re proud of…
Torii of Peace (Hakone Shrine’s “floating” red gate)
Hakone Shrine: Torii gate on the water (The Torii of Peace 「平和の鳥居」) of Lake Ashi (HDR Photo)
Learn why this is called the The Torii of Peace.
I must have taken about 100 photos of this torii, at different exposures and apertures (technical photography talk). The photo above is a combination of 13 photos merged together, to see the full dynamic range of light and shadow in the scene.
Turning away from the water and walking back up the stairs, we reach the chōzuya (water purification basin) and the torii at the base of the main stairs. This point is also where the path from the town (where the first picture in this article was taken) intersects with the path leading from The Torii of Peace to the main hall of the shrine.
A few meters west of this area is a carpark and also a restaurant. I stopped at the restaurant for udon after visiting the shrine.
Water purification pavilion 「Chōzuya, 手水舎」
After performing the temizu ritual, we turn to face the stairs leading up to the main buildings of the shrine. You can just see the torii at the very top of the stairs.
Fourth Shrine Gate 「Dai-yon-torii, 第四鳥居」 and the 90 Steps 「Kyū-jū-dan, 九十段」
Torii and stairs leading to Hakone Shrine’s Main Hall (HDR Photo)
The stair case isn’t too large, but for the elderly or less mobile people, there’s plenty to see en route to the top. About halfway up the stairs on the right is a Japanese archery range, where traditional Japanese archery 「kyūdō, 弓道」 was taking place.
The archery range is part of the 「budō-ba, 武道場」 which is a general Japanese martial art 「budō, 武道」 field 「ba, 場」.
Kyudo: traditional Japanese archery
Archery 「kyūdō, 弓道」 along the stairs to Hakone Shrine’s main hall (HDR Photo)
On the left, directly opposite the archery range above is this small sub-shrine dedicated to the Soga Brothers. The Soga Brothers story comes from the late 1100s and is dramatised in nō and kabuki plays.
Soga Brothers Shrine「Soga-jinja, 曽我神社」 a sub-shrine at Hakone Shrine
Shrine to the Soga Brothers, a sub-shrine opposite the archery at Hakone Shrine (HDR Photo)
After ascending the 90 step staircase, and passing through the torii at the top of the stairs, the narrow pathway opens to an expansive courtyard surrounded by a low rock wall.
Fifth Torii 「Dai-go-torii, 第五鳥居」
Torii at the top of the stairs (HDR Photo)
For a while I sat on the low wall and just absorbed the surroundings. Hakone Shrine is set among huge cedar trees, part of the way up a mountain. At times there was no-one in the courtyard, and I imagined I was back in Edo period Japan.
From the courtyard you can see the outer walls of the shrine, the entrance to Hakone Shrine’s worship hall「haiden, 拝殿」 and the chōzuya and entrance to another sub-shrine.
Outer walls of the inner shrine
Outer walls of Hakone Shrine’s Main Hall (HDR Photo)
The most important buildings of the shrine are a deep red colour, very different from the typical vermilion colour (used for the torii and chōzuya). Gold trimmings and green tiles make for a unique colour scheme.
If the torii on the water is Hakone Shrine’s most famous icon, the shrine gate 「jin-mon, 神門」 to the main worship hall is the second most famous icon.
Passing through the entrance gate takes you to the main worship hall. In this area is a small shop selling amulets and souvenirs.
Shrine Gate 「Jin-mon, 神門」
Entrance to the main hall of Hakone Shrine (HDR Photo)
On the west side of the courtyard is a building with a very special use. Called the “sacred dance hall”, this hall is used for special performances throughout the year, including nō and kabuki plays. The courtyard of the shrine is usually totally packed for these events.
Hakone Shrine’s Sacred Dance Hall 「Kagura-den, 神楽殿 」
Hakone Shrine’s Sacred Dance Hall, to the west of Hakone-jinja’s main hall (HDR Photo)
On the east side of the courtyard is a very unique, and very cool, chōzuya. This is the water purification basin for the sub-shrine of Kuzuryū-jinja 「9-Headed-Dragon Shrine 九頭龍神社」 and appropriately has 9 dragon heads with funnels coming out of the their mouths.
9 Headed Dragon Water Purification Basin (HDR Photo)
As well as performing the normal purification ritual of hand washing, many people were filling up small water bottles (bought from the souvenir shop mentioned above). This usually means that the water is blessed or has some religious significance.
Closeup of Kuzuryu Chōzuya (HDR Photo)
The 9-Headed-Dragon Shrine is quite small and has an interesting story. For more information see Shrine of the 9-Headed-Dragon, a Sub-Shrine at Hakone-jinja.
Shrine of the 9-Headed-Dragon
Shrine of the 9 Headed Dragon 「Kuzuryū-jinja 九頭龍神社」HDR Photo
After seeing the shrine and spending hours taking photos, I took a walk along the lake back toward the bus stop. When you visit I suggest you walk through the town, following the torii gates when going to the shrine, and walking along the lake when returning (or vica-versa).
The view from the Moto-Hakone bus stop and pier is spectacular. On a clear day, Mt Fuji can easily be seen beyond the mountains.
A sightseeing cruise regularly leaves for a tour of the lake. Around the pier are boats for hire, including pedal powered boats.
Lake Ashi and the torii on the water (Torii of Peace)
Lake Ashi and The Torii of Peace 「平和の鳥居」 HDR Photo
This visit was about 4 hours, taking in to consideration the fact that I was stationary while taking photos for at least 2 hours.
Local government finds new way to invite misery to 2020.
At an intersection along Highway 407 in Shimizu Ward, Shizuoka City, there stands a rather large torii, a gate traditionally found at Shinto shrines. While it’s not too uncommon for these structures to straddle urban roads as cities develop around the sites of shrines, this one is unique in that no one knows who it belongs to.
Three years ago someone filed an inquiry into the owner of this gate, the kind of which is believed to represent the boundary of a sacred space. However, much to everyone’s surprise, there was no known owner. According to the city records, it was erected 45 years ago to replace an older torii when the road underneath it was built, but that’s about all that’s known about it.
▼ Few records from the dark era of 1975 exist aside from scant archaeological evidence depicting arcane face painting and possibly cannibalistic hunting rituals
As time passed an increasing number of residents were contacting the city and asking that the torii be taken down. Large chips in its concrete were easily visible and without proper maintenance it was becoming a growing safety risk, so the Shizuoka municipal government issued a public statement asking whoever owned the 12-meter (39-feet) spirit gate to come and deal with it.
▼ Local politician Ken Tanaka 42-Years-Old (to distinguish him from another guy named Ken Tanaka on the ballot) visits the torii to survey its damage
Of course no one answered, so the city decided to get it done themselves and ordered it to come down on 8 September at an expected cost of 11 million yen (US$104,000).
This news did not sit well with many online who feel spiritual monuments with mysterious and forgotten pasts are best left alone, if scores of horror movie plots are anything to go by.
“DO NOT BREAK THE SEAL. ”
“This certainly seems like it will unleash some kind of misfortune.”
“Man, I don’t want to be working on the crew that has to take that thing down.”
“By removing that torii, the boundary with the other side will be gone.”
“If we get a big earthquake in the next few months, I know who I’m blaming.”
“But it’s made of concrete, so it’s probably not all that magical.”
Some also put on their detective pants and deduced that it might belong to a local shrine – probably by the giant sign on the torii and stone monument next to it which both read “Kusanagi Shrine.”
However, when approached by the government about the matter, Kusanagi said it was never responsible for putting a torii in that spot. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop one Twitter user from further looking into the relationship.
この鳥居…&mdash むらびとA (@mura_bito_A) August 19, 2020
Originally this whole area was part of a shrine’s precincts but gradually the city developed over it and only the torii remained. If you look into it, you’ll find that it was connected to Kusanagi Shrine but also another one, Kubitsukainari Shrine. There are various theories about the latter but it has an extremely bloody history.
According to one theory, this torii was located at the site of a battle during the eastern conquest of Yamato Takeru and its fallen soldiers were buried there. Ever since that time, a river that runs in the area has been called the Ketsuryu [Bloodflow] River for that reason. Moreover, paranormal spots have been concentrated around the area. I just hope nothing happens when they take that torii down…”
So it would seem the unleashing of an army of the undead is on the table for the tail end of 2020. But as luck would have it, we’ve already determined that the lifespan of ghosts is about 400 years and Yamato Takeru’s campaign took place sometime in the first century AD, making those dead people way past their prime haunting and cursing years.
So that brings us back to a giant torii suddenly collapsing on a busy road as the most likely threat going on here, so it’s probably wise to bring that thing down if no one’s willing or scared enough to step up and take care of it.
Ryobu Torii Itsukushima Shrine in Hiroshima
Ryobu torii is a member of Myojin torii Family, and its two pillards are supoorted on both front and back by short posts called yoji torii. The name, Ryobu is derived from Buddhism with which Shinto has a long association.
Mitsu Torii Mitsumine-jinja Shrine in Saitama
Mitsu torii or Miwa torii is a Myojin torii with a smaller torii on both sides. Inward inclination of the pillards is less pronouced than other Myoshin torii family variants.
San-no Torii Hie-jinja Shrine in Tokyo
San-no torii is a variant of Myojin torii with a gable on top of the lintels.
Kuroki Torii Nomura-jinja Shrine in Kyoto
Kuroki Torii, one of the oldest types of Shinmei torii Family, is made of wood with bark left untouched, from which its name, Kuroki is derived.
Kara hafu Torii Itsukushima-jinja Shrine in Kyoto
Kara hafu torii is a variant of Myojin torii with lintels shaped like a recurve bow in archery.