As we climb the steps towards the taisha, we pass beneath a Torii, a traditional Japanese gate Toriis are found at the entrance of all Shinto temples. Walking under a Torii is supposed to signify crossing into a sacred, magical place. This reddish-orange is a very popular colour for Torii, and the paint is made from a mineral-based pigment called Vermilion. The colour is said to be able to ward off evil spirits. Walking right by the temizuya, just like a clueless barbarian gaijin Neda has to remind me once again to do the cleansing ritual before we enter the temple. Shes so geeky that way... First wash the left hand, then the right, then rinse the mouth, in that order. The Japanese culture is so etiquette-oriented, it's not enough to perform a task, there's a right way to do it and a wrong way.