The Shinto shrines are marking the sacred objects from within their courtyard with rice-straw ropes called shimenawa. Actually, the shimenawa indicates that the object is yorishiro, an object capable of attracting the Shinto gods - kami.
Often the yorishiro is a large, old tree (shinboku) or a large rock (iwakura). The most spectacular iwakura in Japan is the pair of rocks from Meoto Iwa, the famous “wedded rocks", tied together by an impressive shimenawa weighting one tonne, one of the heaviest in Japan.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: