Oarai Isosaki-Jinja Shrine stands on the rugged coastline facing the Pacific Ocean while waves crash about its base. The name of this gate is Kamiiso-no-Tori, which means "gate at the beach of the gods," and it's part of the Oarai Isosaki-Jinja Shrine.
Oarai Isosaki-Jinja Shrine is 2.5 kilometers from Oarai Station and accessible by taxi or bus for Nakaminato Station.
Take the JR Joban Line from Ueno Station to Mito Station. From there, take the Oarai-Kashima Line to Oarai Station.
Oarai Isosaki-Jinja Shrine is rumored to have been built in 856 AD originally. The main building was destroyed during fighting in the 16th century but rebuilt the next century. The shrine has three torii gates. Each gate presents a different view and environment.
Kamiiso-no-Torii is the most impressive. It faces the east and offers an absolutely amazing sunrise. As the sun appears on the eastern horizon, its rays bathe the gate in red. The gate is also a site to see at night bathed in moonlight.
The shrine commemorates Omunamuchi-no-Mikoto and Sukunabikona-no-Mikoto, two deities that are said to have created the country of Japan. They were said to have descended to the earth from the ocean's eastern sky.
The shrine also has an impressive and imposing worship hall you can visit. One unique feature of Oarai Isosaki-Jinja Shrine is that instead of the usual guardian lion-dog statues at the gates, it has frogs. The reason is unclear, but it's speculated that it's a play on the word frog, kaeru, and its synonym, which means to return home.