Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine

Japanese Shrine |Beautiful Japanese culture!|Mount Miwa #04‐Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine

三輪山シリーズ#04 「大神神社の三ツ鳥居」
Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine

Do you know about Japanese Shinto Shrines? Omiwa Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and have an interesting shrine gate! At 4T-AMKY, Teachers and Students write about Japanese culture, food, history, many spots to visit, and other stuff. Enjoy reading and knowing about deeper Japanese culture!

Mount Miwa#04 ‐Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine.


There is a sacred gate called Mitsu-torii in Omiwa Shrine. It is made up of one large central Torri (gate) flanked by two smaller torri. It is an important cultural heritage site.

Omiwa shrine also has a haiden (worship hall) where visitors can worship the divine Mt. Miwa.  The area beyond the haiden is considered sacred ground and is one of the areas on Mt. Miwa where people are forbidden to enter.  This Mitsu-torri stands between the worship hall and the forbidden area.

The green mountain and the red torrii depicted in the photo are Mt. Miwa and Mitsu-torii.

The Omiwa Shrine doesn’t contain a honden (main sanctuary) which is normally found in other sanctuaries worshipping kami.  Thus Mt. Miwa itself is regarded as kami and this Mitsutorri seems to take the role of the doors of the main sanctuary.

Furthermore, this Mitsu-torii has another special feature.  The Shimenawa (a sacred shinto rope made of rice straw) decorates the upper part of the Mitsu-torii but is curiously turned in the opposite direction.  Usually, the right part of the Shimenawa is thicker; however, the one on the Mitsu-torii is reversed with the left part being thicker.  This is uncommon but not unique.  The shimenawa of Izumo Taisya (which is one of the biggest shrines in Japan, and is known as the “Home of all Japanese Kami”, because it is believed that all of the thousands of Kami in Japan visit here each year in November) is also decorated in the same way.

You can see a picture of the Mitsu-torri in the official website of the Omiwa Shrine.  In real life, it is awe-inspiring and evokes a solemn atmosphere.

Memo: Kami is the object of worship in Shinto. It is also translated into Shinto deities or Shinto gods.

三輪山シリーズ#04 「大神神社の三ツ鳥居」









Aki Sawaguchi.

Editor: Stuart Cauley.
Chigako Cauley.