Friday, August 7, 2015

INARI SHRINE - KYOTO (JAPAN TRIP 2015)

When THE YAPPY BUNCH went to Japan with my brothers and sisters, we let them plan the itinerary for us. Although it would be nice to plot where we will be going at OUR own schedule (that's why we never go with travel agencies), I trusted my siblings and their taste. It's great that we all share the same love for going to places that matter (museums, historical sites, etc) in order to learn something and have a different kind of experience. Personally I find it more worthwhile than going to another country just to shop especially when you can buy the same items in our giant malls. Even though the tags may be cheaper, it would never EVER replace seeing, let's say, Mt. Fuji, which would still be as breath-taking for the second or one-hundredth time!

Anywho, one of the places that we were glad to discover the existence of is the FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA, or to make it shorter, THE INARI SHRINE IN KYOTO. I was never aware how they valued the sacredness of the INARI -- the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and Sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal KAMI of Shinto. The INARI is part of SHINTO, the indigenous religion of the people of Japan. These days, the SHINTO is a term for Japan's public shrines in respect for their devotion of KAMI or the spirits they worship representing nature, animals, forces in the universe, and even the deceased.

Japan has wonderfully preserved the sanctity, holiness, and beauty of these ancient shrines. And we are so thankful that our first stop gave us a glimpse of the country's rich culture and beliefs leaving us at loss for words (yes it is possible). The experience truly blessed us with something that would never be replaced by any picture, souvenir, or autograph by
Hiroyuki Sanada (ahahaaaay....).

ERICJAZ FOODIES and family at the FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA --  the first of many temples that we all fell in love with.



THE YAPPY BUNCH are going to FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA!!!!





Our photographer Ate Jojit, switched places with the Chinese Adonis, for a picture!




Then my older brother, Kuya Jon joined in.




We haven't even officially started our tour (as this is only at the very "tip" of this tourist site) and we've already had a gazillion of pictures!

My eldest brother, Kuya Jay at the back, did a photobomb to hurry us up. Ha ha ha ha ha ha!




While walking towards the entrance, we saw these mini-shrines in bright orange colors.




I'm actually not sure what these are. I wonder if they represent significant Japanese individuals or shrines for more KAMI?




I cannot find the answers yet! Anyone wanna help out a lovely lady like me????

Kidding.




While we were walking we saw this lovely couple dressed in the traditional Japanese kimono and robe. At that time, we were actually clueless as to why they are dressed like that. We thought either they just got married or they really came from a land where EVERYONE wore kimonos and robes.

As it turned out, they were tourists like us and they rented these fashionable garb to really go for the Japan experience.

After we got a picture with them, they asked for a selfie with us!

OR maybe, they wanted to capture our faces for police detection just in case we stalk them further. Tee hee!




And thus we see the official entrance to the FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA!



Where should we go first?




Before you enter any shrine in Japan, you should always do the proper cleansing ritual.



You don't just wash your selves in the sacred water like what you would do on the sink (que horror!). There's actually a fine art into it.





At first you wash one hand, then use the ladle to wash the other hand. When both hands are clean, you put a bit of water on your left hand then lightly wash your mouth with it. Afterwards, you clean the ladle itself and put it back where you got it.




Yub, don't even THINK about gargling or drinking from that bamboo ladle!




I noticed that there were many of these orange tall structures in Japan. They are actually the TORII and they serve as traditional Japanese gates to enter their shrines. They are considered to be the entrance to a holy place with more than 10,000 of them here FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA!




Since I have properly washed myself (I'M PURE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I can now enter their FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA!




One of their many temples.





The little lords deserted us and went with their Tita Jojit and Tito Jon. I guess they liked them better because they don't take pictures of them as much as we do. Ha ha ha ha ha!




I love how the Japanese have many structures to celebrate their customs and beliefs. At the same time, they would always involve the beauty of nature in it. 

It was so relaxing to go around with the breeze and the trees going with you.




Me with some Japanese inscriptions on wooden boards.




Me with Japanese inscriptions on wooden boards 2.

Spot the difference.

He he he he! Just found the little boy at the back too cute when he succeeded in his feat of taking a leap of faith in FUSHIMI INARI - TAISAH (pun sort of intended).




After a lot of walking (yes we felt like it was a LOT) we finally came to the TAMAYANA INARISHA. 




We finally found the little lords here and grabbed them from the evil clutches from my brother and sister....

Hmmm.... To THINK they were trying to get away from us. So it could be the opposite... Hmmm...




In that part of FUSHIMI INARI - TAISAH, you could buy souvenir items to take home to your loved ones. 




FYI, not a garbage can okay?




And we see again another torii!




The FUSHIMI INARI - TAISAH is actually located at the Inari mountain. So expect a lot of exercise with the numerous steps and inclined roads.




Here, we will be entering the SENBON TORII that is made up of 1,000 torii gates.




To be truthful, they are not 1,000 torii NOW but during its construction it was at that number.




These may be just painted bamboos precisely aligned to form something similar to a hall but it is indeed a photographer's dream.




I'm not sure when this was constructed but I find this walkway of Torii very artistic no matter what period it is.

If you're wondering why the Japanese chose this color, it is actually the shade in vermillion and it signifies authority to oppose magic and evil intentions.

It is a sacred color of Inari.




When we got to the end of the SENBON TORII, we came upon  OKUSHA-HOUHAISHO!




Of course, we had to cleanse ourselves first before going to their temple.




In OKUSHA-HOUHAISHO, you will find many stalls selling these trinkets and charms.




What caught my eye were these chopsticks with Japanese writings. When you purchase them you could make an offering of it in the temple.




If you noticed many foxes around the INARI SHRINE, it is because they consider foxes  to be the servants of god.

In Inari in particular we find the famous white fox, which is a sacred animal, not visible to the naked eye. 




I bought one "fox" for 500Y to make my offering.

I see you...




There were a lot of people waiting in line for their turn to write at the table so I only made a quick "Jazzle Dazzle smile".

The girl at the back wants to join in on the fun though.




Pens were provided and you are instructed to write your name and address.




I then wrote my wish and prayer for my offering which of course, concerned Mati and Andrei.




Somebody was very interested to see what I wrote.




Andrei and I then hung our fox offering at the temple.




In doing so, I made a short prayer.




Then bowed my head the way the Japanese do their prayers here.




At the end, we rang the bell.




Yohoo! We're done!




And it's time to go down again!




We're back at the SENBON TORII start!




As much as we wanted to go up and explore further the beauty of the  FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA, it was already time to go back to our meeting place. 

You know us. So punctual. 

IF I'm not coming in from TAPE Inc! He he he he he he he!




While waiting for the rest of my family at the meeting place the Yubsker and I realized how minuscule our INARI TEMPLE "coverage" was compared to the whole thing!




When Kuya Jon was telling us about the INARI SHRINE, we were dreaming about going to the top of the temple and be all "ERICJAZ FOODIES THE CONQUERORS!"




Instead, even after a LOT of walking and resting and cleansing, we realized  we only made it to just one eenie meenie fraction of FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA!

KEKEKEKWEEENG!!!!!



While waiting for the others, the Yub and I had a snack at this stretch of road with loads of street food left and right!




Guess what I had to gobble up by myself???

Blogpost coming soon!!!!!!!!!




If you wish to go to FUSHIMI INARI-TAISHA, it is open 24 hours 7 days a week!

Entrance is free!!!!




The place is clean with suitable restrooms at many spots.



Oh ANDREI!

That's not allowed!

By the way, he's only joking.





 FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE is just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (5 minutes, 140 yen one way from Kyoto Station, not served by rapid trains). The shrine could also be reached via a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station along the Keihan Main Line.

Just check google map if you're lost!




Though the little lords bailed out on us since they learn more from my sisters and brothers, our trip to FUSHIMI INARI-TAIRA was truly a fun one!




Of course, it was MORE fun and memorable being with my family who shared in the same fascination in culture and sites as we do!!!!




OH. YEAH.




FUSHIMI INARI - TAISAH
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, 
Fushimi Ward, Kyoto,
 Kyoto Prefecture 612-0882, Japan
+81 75-641-7331





As we were about to leave, we saw one Japanese security guard run up to their office and report something very urgent to his superior. Then in a flash, his superior along with 4 other guards quickly went outside and ran up the long stairs of FUSHIMI INARI-TAIRA. We were really wondering what it was when later we heard a helicopter on its way to the top of the mountain. And if you could see in this picture there's a bit of smoke among the greens. Our guess is that somebody threw some cigarette and started a small fire. Hopefully nobody was hurt with the incident.

My siblings and I were so impressed with how fast the guards were in acting and you could really see their deep concern in fixing what is wrong.

Haaaay. I wonder how our guards would act if the same happened here?




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