I normally don’t fancy grape soda but…
This was a godsend after walking 40 minutes in 85°F (30°C) weather with all my luggage in tow… The lesson that I learned? Google Maps lies (occasionally) and I need to pack less!
Mistakenly got off at the “nearest” station to our Airbnb and trekked through the suburbs of Kyoto… Arrived at our destination, and found there is a train stop behind the apartment… FAIL!
Japan was nonetheless tricky to maneuver at times. There are a lot of local trains and transfers involved, so ask for directions if you are even the slightest bit unsure!
But enough about me being lost in Kyoto, today’s post is on…
Fushimi Inari-taisha, a Japanese Shinto shrine (not Buddhist) dedicated to Inari kami. Who is Inari and what is kami you ask? A kami is the spirit in Shinto religion, and Inari is the kami (spirit) of fertility, rice, sake, tea and foxes.
We arrived very close to golden hour, so I couldn’t really see the screen on my camera… (The only real problem I have with the Canon g7x? No viewfinder, boo!) I apologize for the oddly out of center image! I was likely focusing on the torii gate and not the main shrine…
One of the very few “normal” photos I have with Kevin from the trip. Super “forced” smile on my end because it was super hot and I was exhausted by this point. Never underestimate humidity!
One of the two foxes (kitsune) at the entrance of the shrine. Inari is the kami of foxes, so shrines dedicated to Inari will likely have foxes at the main entrance.
Kitsune is seen as Inari’s messenger, so many will bring the fox offerings. An example of a famous offering? Inari sushi, which is cleverly shaped to have two ears like a fox. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google it! (You won’t regret it!)
Hundreds of wishes written on miniature torii gates can be found throughout the shrine.
Messages written on fox shaped charms were also quite popular (and adorable).
I grew a little impatient waiting for everyone to take their pictures… I did however find this trail that led me slightly above the torii gates, so I snapped some shots of the exterior.
Obligatory selfie post! Why take a photo inside the walkway, when you can take a photo from above… (This is how impatient I am haha!)
Not really sure what this was supposed to be… I did all my research before traveling to Japan, but this left me stumped! (HAHAHA get it?! Okay, no more lame puns… )
And finally… a nearly empty photo of the famous torii gates found at Fushimi Inari-taisha. I believe there are an estimated 10,000 torii gates found at this shrine. Another fun fact? Each torii gate is actually a donation from a Japanese business in hopes of good fortune.
Another gorgeous scene as we made our way back down. I’m convinced that everything in Japan looks better (trees included)! Unfortunately we did not make it to the top of the trail and back. (I was told this takes a few hours, so come prepared!)
Takoyaki purchased from a street cart outside of the shrine. What is this you may ask? Well takoyaki is a wheat-flour snack filled with chopped up octopus. It is then topped with mayonnaise and bonita (fish) flakes. I would recommend steering clear of this snack if you are not a fan of seafood/octopus!
On a side note, takoyaki can be found all over Japan (not just Kyoto) and is probably one of the most common street foods. I know it sounds a little strange, but it’s actually quite yummy!
Best way to end a post? Ice cream! This was a scoop of taro ice cream topped with silken tofu soft serve. I will admit that I cringed at the idea of tofu soft serve at first, but the texture turned out to be creamy and perfect. I guess you should never judge a book by its cover, or in this case its name.
Thanks for checking in loves. To be continued soon!