Torii is a Shinto design item that stands in front of temples. It is a symbol one is entering a scared space and no longer in the common world. They were orignally made from wood and stone. Today they are more commonly made of concrete. The oldest one dates back to the 12th century. This one is from the Itsukushima Shrine in the city of Hatsukaichi, located in the Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan.
I love how the design of this object resembles the background and the water that it sits in. It is very natural in shape i think, and that is very fighting that it is a symbol in the Shinto religion since it is so tied to nature.
It serves as a symbolic gateway into the Shinto ideals. It plays off the elements are representing nature and natural form.
photo provide by wikipedia