If you go to shrines in Japan, usually there is a gate in front of the shrine. This gate of shrine is called “torii”. Perhaps the most famous torii gate of Japanese shrines is the one in Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto which was ranked as No. 1 in Japan’s Most Popular Tourist Destination in 2014 by TripAdvisor.
You may wonder what these multiple red gates mean because usually a shrine has a single torii.
According to Association of Shinto Shrines, torii represents
the border between the secular and the sacred worlds.
It’s an entrance to a Shinto shrine precinct. Wikipedia also explains the details of torii.
Then why are there many torii in Fushimi Inari? Actually, it’s not only in Fushimi Inari but there are many other “Inari Shrines” which have row of torii. And according to the Japanese site of Fushimi Inari, worshippers of Inari shrines dedicated torii gate when his or her wish came true. The row of torii means that the wishes are fulfilled or realised.
Inari means the crops of rice and Inari God is one of traditional Japanese Gods. There are many Inari Shrines in Japan and some of them have rows of torii like Fushimi Inari.
Here are some examples of rows of torii in Inari Shrines.
1. Nezu Shrine, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
The legend says that the shrine was built by Japanese legendary Emperor Yamato Takeru over 1900 years ago. This Inari Shrine is called Otome Inari.
Address: 28-9 Nezu 1-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
2. Nogi Shrine, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Akasaka Ouji Inari in Nogi Shrine also has a row of torii. This Shrine was relatively newly built, after the WWII.
Address: 11-27 Akasaka 8-chome, Minato-ku, Tokyo
More to come!