“The Torii Gate”
by Tim Devine
The beautiful Torii gate in Epcot’s Japan pavilion is based on one of the most famous and visited Japanese landmarks. Torii gates generally show the presence of Shinto or Buddhist holy places. They also generally mark the transition from sacred to profane places.
“The dramatic gate (torii) of Itsukushima Shrine is one of Japan’s most popular tourist attractions, and the view of the gate in front of the island’s Mount Misen is classified as one of the Three Views of Japan (along with the sand bar Amanohashidate, and Matsushima Bay). The gate has existed since 1168, though the current gate dates back to 1875. The gate, built of camphor wood, is about 16 metres high and was built in a four-legged style to provide additional stability.
The gate only appears to be floating at high tide; when the tide is low, the gate is surrounded by mud and can be accessed by foot from the island. It is common practice for visitors to place coins in the cracks of the legs of the gate and make a wish. Gathering shellfish near the gate is also popular at low tide. Many locals use the shellfish they gather for their miso soup. At night, powerful lights on the shore illuminate the gate.”
(Excerpted from Wikipedia; Click here for the full article)