At Shinto shrines, the sacred places are marked with shimenawa, a twisted rice straw rope. The making of a shimenawa is strictly regulated by the Shinto religion, for example it is twisted always to the left, and it is always displayed with the thick end towards the right side. The size of shimenawa varies from a simple cord to spectacular heavy ropes, such as the one photographed here.
This is the Kagura-den of the Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine in Shimane, known to feature the largest shimenawa in Japan: this amazing artifact is 13.5 meters long, at its thickest point has a diameter of 8 meters, and it weights about 4,500 kilograms!
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: