Absolutely one of my oddest finds ever in the Florida Keys! WOW, talk about unexpected out of place this was! This actually the 2nd Japanese torii gate in the Keys, the first one BLEW ME AWAY! It’s stumbling upon attractions like this that make what I do so rewarding… “I NEVER know what awesome unexpected new found treasure is around the next corner”… and I LOVE IT! Look close at the photo below, there’s a bench facing the ocean to sit upon to compliment your tranquil quest! 🙂
A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. They are however a common sight at Japanese Buddhist temples too, where they stand at the entrance of the temple’s own shrine. Their first appearance in Japan can be reliably pinpointed to at least the mid-Heian period because they are mentioned in a text written in 922.
You can find this Japanese torii gate on the campus of the Florida Keys Community College just outside of Key West at one of its two entrances at Mile Marker 5.0 & 4.3 onto the horseshoe-shaped College Road. Drive down the road about 1/2 mile from either entrance and there it be behind by the Tennessee Williams Theater.