Fushimi Inari Taisha

09Jun09

Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社), often called Fushimi Inari Jinja, is the headquarters for foxes and gods.  Fushimi Inari is the head shrine of Inari, the Japanese god of rice, and the footpaths that lead up into the hills behind the main shrine buildings are positively covered with persimmon-orange torii gates and the stone figures of foxes (the messengers of the rice god).

Fushimi Inari is one of my favorite places to go in Kyoto because once you get past the main set of torii you find yourself wandering up fairly uncrowded paths into quiet forest trails lined with orange gates, tiny shrines, graves, and a mysterious off-path altar featuring the most solemn set of stone kami-sama that you’ve ever seen.  The first time I went was for a photography meet-up with my friends Angie and Joe, who are both fantastic photographers.  We spent the day slowly working our way up the mountain, following the waves of torii up past the greenest pond in existence and on and upward through a fox-infested graveyard until finally emerging near the top of the mountain for a beautifully perfect sunset.



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