Monday, July 12, 2010

Fushimi Inari Shrine Visit             伏見稲荷大社へ

After seeing pictures and video clips, I finally made the trek to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine located to the south of central Kyoto.  With intermittent rain throughout the day, the number of visitors at the shrine for a Sunday was less than normal, however the ratio of non-Japanese (mainly westerners) compared to Japanese seemed to be about 7:3.

The shrine founded in 711 will be celebrating its 1,300 year anniversary next year.  As Nara is celebrating its 1,300 year anniversary this year, I am expecting there to be many events and activities at the shrine next year worth visiting.

The main attraction at the shrine is the roughly 10,000 small torii (shrine gates) that go beyond shrine to the far reaches of the neighboring hills.  The entire journey supposedly takes two hours to complete.  However due to the weather, I decided to forgo reaching the summit and turned around less than a quarter into the journey.

The remarkable thing about the 10,000 shrine gates is that they all are sponsored by corporations spanning the entire country with the company name and the year when the sponsorship was made carved into the wooden gate.  To sponsor a gate, prices start from 500,000 yen ($5,000) and go over 1,000,000 yen ($10,000).

As Inari is originally known as the "god of rice", many visitors come to pray for success in their businesses nowadays.  For those of you wanting good luck in your future business dealings, I highly suggest a visit to Fushimi Inari Shrine.


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