A shimenawa is a sacred Shinto rope denoting and demarcating a sacred or holy site.
shimenawa are found in Shinto shrines across Japan and can also be seen tied around sacred trees (as in the example above) and also around holy rocks.
The shime are the zig-zag-shaped folded pieces of white paper attached to the rope or nawa, which is made of rice straw or sometimes hemp.
Certain traditional businesses may also hang shimenawa outside their entrances particularly at New Year.
More images of shimenawa
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