Fushimi Inari-Taisha


Well, the Fushimi Inari-Taisha (or Inari for short) is perhaps the most visited (or at least visible) temple in Kyoto as it is so picturesque, but it really is nice and worth going every time you are there. Not that it would change so much, just the people, their way, reactions, etc. … Smiley Talking about people we observed that more and more people in their late teens, 20s and 30s come to Japan (compared to the much older group some years ago) which is an interesting movement. As you see them mostly in the more “hip” and “cool” places (like Inari) hope remains that this might cause some change in the (abysmal) English language abilities of their Japanese friends (you know, hope dies last…). Another issue with these added tourists is that the attractions are becoming even more crowded as they already are (more Japanese pensioners travel, too) so you have to select your time of travel very carefully Zwinkerndes Smiley

But before we dive into the details of Inari one episode from the Kumano Kodo which was filmed by Ursi and gives a good impression of the nature of such a temple… Rain splashing down, drumming in the background and walkers…

 

Now back to Inari – first you arrive by JR train from Kyoto station

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and then face the monumental entrance gate being a bit shocked by the sheer masses of people around you. Last time we were here just some 4 years ago we had the place nearly to ourselves… (but that was March I guess)

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Inari is dedicated to the fox as sacred animal and rice and sake as goods

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A Chinese dog-lion

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And finally some explanation how you should perform your business on public toilets Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Well, this sorted out we covered the basics and now proceed to the nicer aspects… The gateways are placed by worshippers for a prayers

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You buy one, say your prayer

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and leave them there to rot and decay when they are taken away. If you didn’t get what you wanted, try again – it’s like the lottery Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Anyhow there is ample supply for worshippers

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A very eager prayer

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and a veeeeery Japanese fox

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this one is more like a squirrel

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All the time you walk through these gates which are erected as prayers, too

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This was just a nice view up-hill

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Another focus

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Carrying the gear is no easy task with all these steps (in total you cover some 300m altitude…)

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Sometimes when the tourists get too much just step out of the archways and look around

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Suddenly everything becomes peaceful

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and busy…

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Mostly companies buy the archways for their prayer (good fortune, loads of money, etc.) and the amount they pay dictates the size and duration of the archway. So you see many starting to corrode at the end of the period

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Which will fade over time

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until completely gone and removed (to be replaced by new ones)

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Several stages of corrosion Smiley

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I had to catch the moment…

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Further up the hill come more shrine areas

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A typical Japanese dog – very hectic, running here and there around – no peace…

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Decay everywhere… Smiley

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And some impressions of lesser walked paths

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Steady supplies are waiting to be used

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Along the path old tea-houses are lined up

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Clearly indicating their business intentions Zwinkerndes Smiley

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a fox-dragon with a hat Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Fierce fox…

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From time to time sections become quite steep…

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So that the boys are panting quite a lot when they get up here Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Intercultural exchange happens

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And someone was collecting (sacred?) bamboo from the forest along the path

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Looks quite nasty Zwinkerndes Smiley

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We admired the variety of foxes – each one individually carved

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With a different expression

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There are toads as well…

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and frogs Smiley

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give me five…

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Being overwhelmed by gateways we headed back to downtown Kyoto and as we just strolled by took the chance…

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Not entirely British, but anyhow a nice Guinness and a local beer

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This one really enjoyed the happy hour with his Bloody Mary – just street observations

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Japanese has no l and v – so they substitute r for l and b for v mostly. Thus love becomes rabu (l –> r, v –> b + Japanese language rules Zwinkerndes Smiley). Just simple search & replace doesn’t help either… Cleam cheese is cream cheese Zwinkerndes Smiley

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One of these typical images of Japan. The entrance area to a ryokan next the railway station – everybody is conforming to standards!

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To wrap it up – this picture describes my impressions of the day very much

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Kategorien:Japan

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