Thursday, July 5

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Entry gate to Fushimi Inari Taisha

This past weekend, I took my virgin voyage to Kyoto, where Good Times were had, but hard won.
My first stop, direct from Kyoto Station, was stop #3 on the JR Nara Line: Fushimi Inari Shrine.

Messengers of the Shinto spirit of grain and prosperity, Inari, the foxes can sometimes be seen carrying a key to the granary in their mouths.

I don't think these folks were pleased with my picture-taking.

Chi no wa, a large purification ring woven of reeds greets guests at the entrance to the shrine grounds.
Set up for the Shinto holiday, Nagoshi no Obarai, it was originally for farm workers to walk through in order to safeguard against any mishaps they might encounter in the fields.
Although this particular chinowa was not for walking through, you can find the instructions for how to take the proper route through it in my future posting of the Inoshishi Shrine.

A shrine maiden carries.... something... somewhere...

Entering the tunnels of torii.

At Fushimi Inari, even the ema are shaped like foxes. With space to fill in the face!

What would be a souvenir bazaar without our virile little friends, the tanuki?

The traditional self-portrait, just to prove I was there.

My visit to the shrine was short-lived as it was hot, humid, the place was crawling with groups of foreign tourists (and by foreign, here I mean American) and I was starting to get mosquito bites.
I would love to go back and spend some real time there, perhaps in the fall when it's cooler and the momiji (fall leaves) are out, or in the winter when it's likely to be quieter.


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