The red gate to the mountain, which stands at the entrance of the pilgrimage route to Mt. Haguro, is called the Zuishin gate. On the left and right side of the gate are sitting gatekeeper kami (zuishin), Toyoiwamado no Kami and Kushiiwamado no Kami, protecting the mountain with a sword and a bow and arrow from the invasion of demons.
Before the separation of Shinto from Buddhism (shinbutsu bunri), the gate was called “Nio Gate,” with the Nio guardian and the ministers of left and right sitting there together. The gate was arguably contributed by Ikoma-sanuki no Mori from Yashima of Yuri-gun, located in present day Akita prefecture, in the eighth year of Genroku (1695), wishing for the prosperity of his family and his peaceful death.
The Zuishin gate divide the secular world and the sacred area of the mountain.
You are finally entering Mt. Haguro by passing through it.