Wednesday, January 23, 2019

A Fushimi Inari Shrine kind of Birthday Pilgrimage!

We made our pilgrimage to the Fushimi Inari Shrine yesterday.  Something I have been looking forward to for months!

And getting to visit this place on my 57th birthday made it that much better.

The magical, seemingly unending path of over 5000 vibrant orange torii gates that wind through the hills behind Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine makes it one of the most popular shrines in Japan. The walk around the upper precincts is a pleasant day hike. It also makes for a delightfully eerie stroll in the late afternoon and early evening, when the various graveyards and miniature shrines along the path take on a mysterious air.
Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794.

This shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake in the 8th century, also features dozens of statues of foxes. The fox is seen as the messenger of the god of grain foods, Inari, and the stone foxes are often known by the same name. The keys often depicted in the fox mouths are keys to granaries. This shrine is the central location for some 40,000 Inari shrines throughout the entirety of Japan. [source]_

At the entrance, waiting for our group to gather and begin our climb.

I am always touched by the wishes and prayers tied and left behind.

It is here that we begin to go THROUGH - the whole path will take about 2 hours if you do the whole thing - we walked part way up, and then turned around to come back as we were on a time schedule and didn't want to miss our bullet train to Tokyo.

It is a slight incline, not hard to walk, and I was captivated by the history and symbolism of this place.

While the poles look "plain" on the way up, all of the meaning of each one is seen on the way back down.

I have posted a couple of video clips to my social media, hoping to embed the Instagram clips here - but so far no go with my connection, but if you want to check them out click HERE.

Burning Prayer candles.

Family shrines.

Each one different than the next.

Notice the foxes?

Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. 

They are everywhere - 

Especially in market stalls!

Along with other goodies!

As for me? It was ALL FOOD!

Rice cakes on a stick!

Yam flour crepe with cheese - on a stick!

Such a magical day!

Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Such a beautiful place with so much meaning to so many. 

I love observing other cultures and finding that we express many of the same things in different ways. 

As you go through the gates on your way up no writing is visible, but when you come back down the back side of each pillar is embellished with characters of meaning to those who erected them. Names, Dates, Details.

Sometimes in life you have to walk away and look back and get a different perspective to see just how far you have come. 

We arrived by bullet train into Tokyo yesterday afternoon.  The second half of our adventure in Japan starts this morning.

But first - BREAKFAST!

Have a wonderful Thursday, everyone!


  1. Looks amazing, hope you enjoyed your Birthday.

  2. You have had a busy day. So glad you could spend your Birthday doing a trip to a faraway place. Thank you for sharing the adventure.

  3. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday, have a fabulous time xxx

  4. Many happy returns and so fortunate to spend your birthday in such an inspiring place, I agree with you on the culture thing, in South Africa we have such a diverse culture, from White, Indian, Coloured and all the different black cultures and each one is different. Wonderful to learn about them all. Enjoy the rest of your Japan tour, loving being able to experience it through your eyes. Have a lovely safe day!
    Great to see your blog on "our" time instead of us always being a day "ahead" :)

  5. Oh yes PPS!!
    PLEASE come to South Africa one year!! PLEASE!! :)


    2. Hi Sherrie, Kenya is a couple of thousand km from us, unfortunately not to easy for us to get to.

  6. What a wonderful way to spend your birthday!!

  7. Fabulous blog post. You made me almost feel as if I was there. Love the orange color. Reminds me of my good fortune top.

  8. Happy birthday. Enjoy the journey, as I know you will. Safe travels to all.

  9. Enjoying learning about this country through your adventure. Today's was very interesting.

  10. Loving your trip. thank you for sharing . AND explaining the meaning of everything.

  11. Sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

  12. Happy Birthday! The place is wonderful, thank you for reminding

  13. Happy birthday Bonnie


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