Saturday, October 16, 2010

Fushimi Inari

We visited Fushimi Inari shrine last Monday with Mum Mum. It's in southern Kyoto. Founded in 711. (The year, not the convenience store).

We walked through town from the train station, up to the shrine entrance.

The streets leading to the main shrine sell mini-tori gates as well as foxes. (The fox is this shrine's mascot.) As well as the usual Japanese souvenir stuff.
We soon got to the main shrine entrance.
At the main shrine, we tossed in a coin and rang the bell. I had heard that it was acceptable to make a wish for material success. Max had no problem with this kind of prayin'. He jumped right in.
MM tried it out, too. She's praying for her gas wells, I guess.
Then began the endless paths of tori gates. Every torii gate in this place was donated by a business or individual.

They shot a scene in this place in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha (2005). Makes me want to see that movie again!

(Okay, so now I have to edit this post and state that I know that MoG is not a Japanese film. It is not even a film--it is a movie. It has Chinese actresses, speaking in accents, directed by a bunch of Americans who are romanticizing geisha, with a few facts and a many Kyoto scenes thrown in. But it is also a gauzy, pretty, fantasy story that I kind of liked in a guilty pleasure sort of way....)
Back to Darrin's photography:

You can rinse your hands before going on.
Knock wood--it's solid!

When he gets older, Hugo is going to say to us, "didn't you love me? How come I'm not in any of the family pictures?"

Along the way, there are dozens--hundreds--of these mini-shrines.
Lots of foxes in red bibs. Mini tori.
Hugo, are you going to donate some of your chips to the shrine?

At each twist and turn, we saw more stairs. Always headed UP.
And UP.
At about this point, MM headed back down and enjoyed the shady side paths. We kept on, trying to reach the top. But we took lots of breaks.
Are we at the top? Not yet. But we had a great view of Kyoto from here. And you can buy a soda --there are many teahouses on the way. The people who work in them are decidedly surly.
A classic Hugo face. Almost at the top.
Here are the steps leading to the next-to-highest spot. Do you see all these obaachans heading back down? Elderly folks in Kyoto are pretty amazing.

Somebody had left a bottle of sake at this tippy top shrine.

At this point, the camera battery died, and Darrin had to take Max (and the backup battery) waaaaayyyy back down the mountain to use the potty (because the friendly shopkeepers wouldn't let him use theirs).

Finally, we made our way back to town. Whew! We stopped here for the last kakigori of the year (probably).

And Alek and Hugo picked out some more shiny stuff to decorate their backpacks.

1 comment:

  1. cool cool. Mira and I went to the Gates installation in Central Park a few years ago. Nice to see the original inspiration.