Fushimi Inari and the Shrines of Kyoto

Along with the futuristic megacity of Tokyo and the foodie heaven of Osaka, no trip to Japan would be complete without visiting its cultural capital, Kyoto.

Home to the Japanese imperial court for over a thousand years, Kyoto is full of palaces, temples, shrines, and gardens; which thanks to not being targeted by Allied bombing during World War II, has been preserved in all its authenticity. This is Part 3 of our Kyoto Series: Shrines.

Fushimi Inari-Taisha

* And hands-down, the most requested photo spot in all of Kyoto, is this pathway leading to Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Prepare to battle with dozens of tourists over what is essentially the same shot (lol!).

* The shrine itself though is much more peaceful, inviting visitors to take a moment of reflective silence. 

* Like the paper lanterns we used to make back in grade school, but so much nicer!

* They say God hears all prayers. I like to think that is true, regardless of religion, so long as your intention is pure.

* The word Inari refers to the great spirit of rice and agriculture. So when you see adherents of Shintoism praying here, it is for good harvest and business.

* Wakanda forever! Oh wait wrong country..

* I could have sworn that this was a level in Street Fighter / Mortal Kombat!

* The family praying for rice! For what the world needs is more rice!

Kitano Tenmangū

* While not as famous as the Fushimi Inari, the Kitano Tenmangu is also very atmospheric and carries with it a truly impressive backstory.

* Legend states that the shrine was built to appease the angry spirit of an exiled bureaucrat!

* Yeah that story really escalated didn't it?

* I said a quick prayer to this statue for more solid beef in our lives! I'm probably wrong, but it's worth the shot!

* Thanks to everyone wearing pretty much the same bundled clothing, it was hard to tell which one was a tourist, a local, and truly here to pray.

* For sure though, the tourists are the ones taking lots of photos!

* Imagining myself as a ninja, scaling this structure for my target inside.

* The statue of a sacred doggo, protecting this place till the very end.

* In the Philippines, we have similar structures where they are said to be homes for dwarves and elementals. I wonder if it's the same case in Japan?


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