It even feels like it has its own “Don’t come in here” warning alarm.

Much like old churches and cathedrals, Shinto shrines can take on a foreboding air under certain conditions. Maybe it has something to do with symbols of the divine reminding us frail humans of our powerlessness and inability to fully grasp the secrets of the universe, but sometimes the vibe shrines give off is less “Come on in and commune with our local deity” and more “Stay out if you want to remain in your world.”

Here with a prime example of that is Japanese Twitter user @JIYUKENKYU_jp, who recently shared this video/photo combination.

“In the middle of the night, I found this entrance to an isekai [alternate world], complete with a warning alarm,” @JIYUKENKYU_jp tweets.

OK, so the sound is actually coming from the railroad crossing, as a caution that the crossing guards are still down after a train has passed by. But hearing them echo into the night, as the flashing red lights reflect off the shrine’s torii gate, is definitely unsettling, and things don’t get any less eerie as @JIYUKENKYU_jp takes a few steps towards the shrine’s entrance and everything is suddenly plunged into silent darkness.

Online commenters have reacted to the creepiness with:

“If I walked by this, I don’t think I’d get any sleep. I’d be up all night with that sound ringing in my head.”
“It’s like…you can feel something must be alive in there.”
“Last save point before the boss battle, right?”
“Gonna have to go buy some protection-from-evil talismans.”
“Ah, so this is why we hear so much about alternate worlds these days.”
“Not sure there’s any guarantee you’ll ever be able to return to our world if you go in there.”

@JIYUKENKYU_jp doesn’t say where he took the video/photo, but some commenters think it’s Otori Shrine in Shiraoka, Saitama Prefecture. It’s hard to say for sure, but if nothing else Google Streetview’s afternoon image for Otori Shrine looks like the gateway to an isekai too, but one with cheerier overtones.

Meanwhile, if you’d, understandably, rather brave such potentially world-swapping adventure vicariously, @JIYUKENKYU_jp regularly posts images of his expeditions to shrines and ruins.

Thankfully he hasn’t been sucked into any isekai yet, but should he ever stop posting, that’ll probably be the reason why.

Source: Twitter/@JIYUKENKYU_jp via IT Media
Images: Twitter/@JIYUKENKYU_jp
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