Monday, November 29, 2010

Fushimi Inari -- Kyoto

Last Friday Matt had off work, so we decided to take advantage of the day and go to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto. So many people have told us it is a "must see" while living here, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.

The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, sake, and prosperity. This shrine has 10,000 small torii gates that arch over a long path up the hill behind the shrine. Some people call it the "fox shrine" as there are many fox statues around. These fox are supposed to be the "messengers" to Inari. 

This shrine draws almost 3 million worshipers over a three day period in the Japanese New Year. So if anyone comes to visit me during the holidays, sorry, but there is no way in he-double-hockey stick I will be taking you to this shrine. Instead we can rent Memoirs of a Geisha and I will point out the scenes that were shot at Fushimi Inari.

As we say in Japan, the torii gates were sugoi (cool). There were small ones, big ones, old ones, new ones. (Maybe Dr. Seuss needs to visit this shrine!) We even got to see a few of them being replaced and painted while we were there.

Throughout the shrine grounds there were cemetery's, fox statues, prayer walls, Udon shops and fountains.

The scenery all around was beautiful, especially with the changing of the leaves.

I just love Kyoto. It is one place I could visit over and over and always find something new to see. If you ever plan on going to Japan, Kyoto is a MUST on the list.

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