Friday, March 28, 2014
Born-again Shinto! A Religion I Can Endorse :-)
Fushimi Inari Taisha, established in the year 711 AD is the head shrine of Inari—the Shinto god of rice and sake. It's my favorite part of Kyoto—so far!
Merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the 10,000 torii (gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. To walk through them all requires a rigorous two-hour hike up Inari Mountain.
Signs along the way warn pilgrims "Please do not feed the wild monkeys. Do not look at the wild monkeys. If the wild monkeys approach you, pretend to throw a rock."
Stone foxes, regarded as the messengers, are everywhere. In their mouth there is usually a key for the rice warehouse! What does this fox say? "I guard the sake that you brew, Kurabito. Respect!"
This popular shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines throughout Japan.
Afterwards I visit the Gekkeikan museum and drink from the fabled Fushimi water.
Another glorious day in Kyoto, Japan!!