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Posts Tagged ‘kyoto’

Autumn has been a little late arriving in Kyoto this year (warm weather for longer!), but it’s lovely to be able to witness the early turn of colour…..

kyoto autumn

Did you notice the flock of birds flying over the river?

As I looked up from the bridge I saw this one too….

Untitled

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Today I took a short trip on the train from Kyoto to Inari.
When you get off the train in Inari Station, turn left, then immediately up the first road on your right you’ll see the first two of 10,000 Torii gates winding up the hillside on which the shrine is built.

inari

Once you’ve climbed to the top of the hill you can look back to where you started and out over the whole of Kyoto.

See the same two gates in the distance?

inari and kyoto

That photo is taken with my zoom lens at full stretch. Look what happens as I pull it back up.

inari and kyoto

……and finally…..with minimum zoom…..(can you still see the gates?)

inari and kyoto

This shrine was originally dedicated to the God of rice, but is now more generally dedicated to prosperity. Each of the 10000 gates is donated by an individual or business hoping for prosperity. Foxes are believed to be the animals which guard the shrine and there are lots of stone ones to be seen (but I didn’t see any live ones).
The gates wind up and up the hillside. It’s quite a climb, especially on day like today when the temperature was 26C, but the gates are so close together that they form long shaded tunnels.

Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates

The gates thread their way through the wooded hillside and near the top you can wander off through forest paths…

Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine Torii Gates

I have never experienced anything quite like this. I’ve talked before about “emerveillement” and I strongly believe we need for re-enchantment in our overly materialist attitude to world. Places like this are known as sacred places. To walk in them, to sit in them, to breathe and listen and look around in them, it’s not hard to understand why. Magical.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

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