Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Postings on Kyoto will be pouring in~~~~and this will be the first of many to come. Kyoto is my favourite city in Japan and is the 2nd most visited destination in Japan after Tokyo. Afterall Kyoto was the Imperial Capital of Japan for one thousand years. All the beautiful cultural important buildings are in Kyoto.

Kyoto was spared from the atomic bombs during the WW2. Initially it was top on the list to be bombed, but a kind soul by the name of Henry Stimson, the Secretary of War fought hard to remove Kyoto off the "to be bombed" list....bcoz he spent his honeymoon in Kyoto and realised the cultural value it holds. See Kyoto is so important :))))

The Romon gate before the shrine.

Fushimi Inari is a shrine with thousands of red gates = torri. Dedicated to Inari, founded in 711...this is also the head of shrines for Inari. The largest and biggest and mother of all just for Inari.

What is Inari?
it's not a beautiful goddess nor an angry looking general or a compassionate Buddha. Inari is the spirit of foxes....

Inari's messenger....hahahahaha
with the "key" to the rice granary...the key looks like a grain to me :)))

Inari is the patron of business and rice. Rice is a staple in japan and for sake making so Inari is alrgely worshipped around Japan. This includes big company like Shiseido with a shrine in their HQ.

another Foxy Fox. Somehow this one looked like a female and reminded me of Angelina Jolie. Don't ask me why.

yes...please wash urself before entering any Shrines or Temples. No complaints about this coz I lurve to play with water anyway :P

la-la-la-la and sometimes I took too long to the frustration of JS

Monkey: "Hey we are in Japan now...relax....take our time....everything must be zen....ohmmmmm ohmmm ohmmmm."
JS >.< faster la!!!!!

The main shrine is really beautiful and quiet.....every part of the main shrine was so well-preserved. Though ravaged by fires over the centuries, it has been built and rebuilt to the same design.

Every Japanaese New Year *which is 1st of Jan* millions of Japanese come here to worship. So please avoid this place during the new year....u wanna be here when it's quite, peaceful with lots of space to yourself, and time to explore.

As JS was bz capturing the architecture it was now Monkey's turn to hurry him up. Quick!!!! I can't wait to climb the Mountain with thousands of gates!!! Oh well Monkey.....don't talk too soon.

Fushimi Inari is located at Mount Inari, and it's only 233 metres above sea level, that's like 764 feet above sea level.

the walk up was beautiful...silhouettes of the toriis and trees add on to the mood of this place. I couldn't describe the magic here. You have to be here to feel it...

As we climbed, there's more foxes lining the torii, with more smaller shrines. This is good as "pitstops"

yeah pitstops for me to cam-whore. See I can make a foxy triangular face too!!!! Hahaha just buy one of these wooden plats, write ur message/wishes and put it here. Awake the God of Inari with 2 claps of ur palms and ring the bell. I just lurve to ring the bell for no reason.....

oh dearie Monkey, please observe and respect the cultures at the destinations....u don't wanna awake the God for no reason right? They need their beauty naps too coz every 0.00000001 second, there's some japanese out there clapping and ringing the bell making wishes~~~~~wat a tough job

as we moved up the mountain, the Torii got bigger. We were surprised to learned that each torii is one whole diametre of tree trunks!!!!

As we ascend the mountain, the Torii got less dense, the path got smaller, and there's less people...bcoz not everyone can do this.

and then it became steps like this all the way.....

oh dear Foxie with a red bib...why do u even need a bib? and what's that on ur mouth? Oh trust me, I got thirst and hungry climbing this early in the morning. Luckily there were some japanese tea house serving warm green tea and dumplings/sweets.

After 45 minutes, we reached the Yotsusuji intersection. From here you get a beautiful view of Kyoto...

JS was luffing at the rest of the tourists.
JS: "bahahahaha look at all those hamburgers!!!! no stamina at all!!!"
Monkey T_T

gasping for her breathe...
Monkey: "U go ahead...I am gonna take a rest here....."

JS -_-"
and so JS continued on his hike to the peak solo while Monkey joined the rest of the "hamburgers" gasping for breathe here.

Usually it takes 2-3 hours to ascend and descend. This JS took only 15 minutes to reach the top. I have no idea he ran or he used the help of superpower Inari Foxie to Turbo-Power-Jet him up to the top.

sigh -_-" and before I could catch my breath and breathe normally....he's already back, one eppy boy.
"WAT????? U are done??? Wat's up there?"
JS: "Nothing much, more red torii and u can't even see Kyoto from there."
Okie, looks like I didn't miss much.

the bunch of hamburgers tourists were still resting on the stairs when we descend. I think JS tricked them, bcoz they did ask him wat's up there and if it's worth it and how FAR MORE TO GO. I do think he answered them 15 minutes......which is an abnormal time. Oh u don't wanna know how fast JS can walk/jog/climb/hike. Next time please multiply ur speed by 3.5. Think they need another 1 hour to hike looking at their size and stamina.

See these foxes are wearing bibs!!!!
u can also buy these mini torii and write on it. Make ur prayers and put them here.

Thirsty??? not to worry....coca-cola is around the world
Recently Apple has surpassed coca-cola as the most valuable brand in the world.

Midway down, we realised there's 2 different tunnels...which one to take? Apparently it's the same and they are parallel.

I strongly suggest u come on weekdays here and early in the morning to avoid the crowd....otherwise it gets really frustrating trying to snap pics minus all those tourists and worshipers. U can't just ask them to get out of the way......hahahahaha.

To get there, take the JR Nara line to Inari Station. It's less than 5 mins from Kyoto Main Station. From the station, just cross the road and voila u have arrived. :))))

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