Nagatoshi Station torii gates
The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is iconic for its seemingly never-ending line of torii gates. But it’s not the only place with such a sight – you can spot a similar assembly of torii gates in Yamaguchi Prefecture too. In fact, you don’t even need to travel to a shrine to find it – simply alight at Nagatoshi Station.
Train track lined with torii gates
Image credit: Charles Postiaux
Torii gates are vermillion structures you’d spot at Shinto shrines in Japan. Once you cross a torii gate, you’re symbolically stepping into a sacred realm.
Image credit: makoto kaji
While these traditional gates are common sights around Japan, it’s much less common to find them randomly at a train station. Nagatoshi Station holds the honour of housing this peculiar sight, with 20 torii gates lining its unused train track at Platform 0.
Image credit: 西乃木みひろ
According to Twitter user @Alpino305, who’s an avid fan of Japanese train stations, the torii gates were erected on 14th March 2020, when the Nagato-Hagi Liner began operations at the station. Said railway network runs between Higashi-Hagi Station and Nagatoshi Station along the Sanin Line.
Image adapted from: @Alpino305
They also mentioned that each torii gate’s height increases by 3cm as the row goes on in order to create a 3D look.
Inspired by Motonosumi Inari Shrine
Image credit: 矢倉健
The row of torii gates at the Nagatoshi Station references the iconic Motonosumi Inari Shrine (元乃隅神社; Motonosumi Jinja) that’s located about a 17.8km drive away from the station. It is home to 123 vermilion torii gates that line its approximately 100m-long footpath.
Image credit: ぴよぴよ
Located near the Sea of Japan, the shrine has an enchanting beauty that has been acknowledged globally, even taking a spot on CNN’s list of Japan’s most beautiful places.
See the torii gates at Nagatoshi Station
If the tourist crowd at Fushimi Inari Shrine is not to your liking, consider visiting this mini “train station shrine” instead. Nagatoshi Station is located in western Japan, along the Sanin Main Line and the Mine Local Line.
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