Photo Location – Fushimi Inari shrine in southern Kyoto, Japan is one of those classic locations and photos that instantly speaks “Japan”. A visit to Kyoto is not complete without a hike through this orange tunnel of torii gates.
Made popular in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha, this shrine is the most important of all the Inari shrines in Japan. Originally, Inari was the god of rice and sake, but now has become the god for business prosperity in general. The trail up the mountainside is covered by thousands of vermilion lacquered torii gates, each of which has been paid for by a business. The fox is believed to be the messenger of the god Inari, so along with the torii gates, there are also many fox statues in all shapes and sizes throughout the shrine grounds. Once you start to hike into this world of non stop orange, it’s hard to stop. The path and torii tunnel wind their way up the sacred mountain, constantly turning this way and that, pulling you forward in anticipation of what is around the next bend. Of course, the view around the next bend is the same as what you just went through – more orange torii gates. Deja vous anyone?
Anyone who knows me knows that I live to travel. So, the mantra of eat, sleep, travel, repeat is quite appropriate for me and for today’s holiday, Groundhog’s Day. Referencing one of my favorite movies by the same name, what better representation of this special day than the endlessly repeating orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari shrine.
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Thanks for visiting and happy Groundhog’s Day – here’s hoping to an early spring.