Sunday, February 20, 2011

Japan: Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari is a Shinto Temple in Kyoto on Mount Inari.  It was built in 711 AD for Inari, the Shinto god of rice and patron of business.  Therefore, many merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth.  In gratitude, many businesspeople donate a torii (the orange gates) to the Shrine.  This shrine was unique because it had over 10,000 small toriis (the majority of the ones you will see in this post are the small ones).  It costs 400,000 yen (today is $4,809 USD) or one million yen for the big toriis (today $12,022 USD).  Within the Shrine there are about 40,000 smaller shrines.

You will often find statues of foxes at the Shrine because foxes are believed to be Inari's messengers.

And here, the path of toriis begin...
and continue...
and continue...

and continue...
and here are some more...
and some more...
Some smaller shrines.  I really like the areas with so many shrines.  You could tell they were so old and it made me reflect upon what good fortune made this person erect this shrine for Inari and what that particular time was like in Japan. 
smaller shrines.
Back to the toriis.
Older Shrines.

The sun is going down and the toriis keep going up and up and up the mountain.

Whew...what a view...means I'm getting closer to the top!
Woah woah woah...wait a minute...i'm only half done?  I climbed a little longer and realized my capsule hotel I was going to that night in Osaka only had a public bath and so I probably wasn't going to shower the next day.  So I decided to quit my hiking and go back down to catch the train to Osaka.

Small Shrines.
Stray cat is hoping to fill up on some holy water!  I hope that is the spring for washing and not for drinking.

Again, I still haven't found the reason for this.
I found this outside someone's's a frog.
Back to Kyoto Station...which is huge...and off to Osaka.

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