The Kumano Hongū Taisha is a Shinto shrine in Tanabe, Wakayama, and is located deep in the mountains of the Kii Peninsula. As part of the Kumano Sanzan, it has been included in the World Heritage Site" "Holy Places and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountains" ". The main deity worshiped there is Kumano Gongen.
The shrine is especially famous for the world's largest torii which marks its entrance. The torii is called otorii, where the O stands for the Japanese word “uppercase”. It has been made of steel since its reconstruction in 2000 and weighs 172 tons.
It took 6 months to manufacture and it took 6 more months to fully assemble it in its now familiar location.
Throughout the year, the Hongo Taisha hosts numerous festivals and some of them even have the torii illuminated. The most famous are the New Year Festival, the Spring Festival and the Yata-no-hi Fire Festival.
This 34-metre high Otorii gate marks the entrance to the original Kumano Hongu Taisha location at Oyunohara.
If not trekking via the Kumano Kodo route, this shrine can be reached by a 1.5-2 hr bus ride from Shingu, Kii-Tanabe or Shirahama Stations. 'Hongu-Taisha-mae' is the closest stop, but if you alight at Hosshinmon Oji you can build in a two-hour hike into your visit too.