Kumano Hongu Taisha

Kumano Hongu Taisha is the formal name of the major shrine in the heart of the mountains along the Nakahechi section of the Kumano Kodo. The major gods in the Japanese creationist myths and important Buddhist deities are enshrined in the austere ancient style of Shinto shrines.

There are four major shrines which appear to be housed in three buildings. Four main Japanese deities are enshrined as well as four Buddhist deities. Drums can be heard rumbling in the background for ceremonies being conducted in another shrine. The shrines are built in the grand shrine style with cypress bark roofs.
The site of the Kumano Hongu Taisha (Grand Shrine) is not the original site. In 1889, the grand shrine was washed away in a massive flood. The old site is called Oyunohara. At the entrance to the old site there is the largest torii gate in Japan.

It was erected to commemorate two thousand years of history. It is 33.9 meters tall, or about the height of a three to four-story building. Torii is written with the Chinese characters, "bird perch " in Japanese. Torii gates mark the entrance to a holy place.
It is befitting that the massive torii shows the site of a place which has been sacred for thousands of years.