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Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is a shinto jinja (shrine) dedicated to the spirit Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan.

It is especially well known for the thousands of vermilion torii lining the paths on the hill on which the shrine is located. The torii gates are all donations from individuals, families or companies. The Inari spirit is considered to be the protector of grains, especially rice, and has thus historically been associated with wealth. Company officials often make offerings to Inari shrines in the form of barrels of rice wine (sake) or torii gates. Torii gates are wood and are replaced about every ten years.

At the bottom of the hill is the Go-Honden Shrine (御本殿) and the Sakura-mon gate (桜門). After following the torii lined hiking paths, a visitor can stop at various food stalls that specialize in Kitsune udon, a popular noodle dish named after foxes (kitsune) which are regarded as the messengers of Inari, the shinto deity of harvest. Statues of kitsune are often found depicted in Inari shrines with a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths. At the top of the hill is the main shrine. Unlike most Shinto shrines, Fushimi Inari Taisha, like most other Inari shrines has an open view of the main idol object (a mirror).

In addition to the more famous torii lined walking paths going from the "front" of the shrine area, walking paths from the rear do exist. They go through a bamboo forest that offers a far different experience then the main route. The paths start/emerge near the sports fields belonging to Ritsumeikan High School.

Dating back to the 8th century, Fushimi-Inari, one of the Kyoto's oldest and most revered shrines, is dedicated to the gods of rice and prosperity.  Headquarters for all the 40,000 shrines representing Inari, it is noted for its stone foxes and over 10,000 red-painted Torii gates that straddle the 4km path up the hill.

It was recently featured in the 2005 movie Memoirs of a Geisha.

A 2-story torii gate at the entrance to Fushimi Inari Taisha.

People cleaning their hands and mouth before they approach the shrine.

On our way to the beginning of the 4km of torii gates ...

You can see the path of torii gates through the mountain side on this map.

On your mark ... get set ... go!

Sorry this is fuzzy, but the small torii gates in the back of the picture are the torii gates where little girl in Memoirs of a Geisha runs through.

Kendall's picture is better!

Very neat!

The first set of a group of shrines through out the path, we just thought they were some random shrines until we continued to see them everywhere.

A mountain lake at one of the stopping points.

... more torii gates ...

Ashley and Kendall

Many many stairs.

A view of Kyoto.

... more stairs ...

Us before we go up the stairs!

Ashley doesn't like the stairs and we're only at the half-way point ... going up.

An even better view of Kyoto.

... on we go ...

another set of shrines

I can't think of a good caption, sometimes pictures are a thousand words!

The last set of stairs to get to the top!

Just walking through the shrine area to give you an idea of all of the small shrines ... there were 136 at this location.

Maps like these were at each of the multiple shrine areas.

On the way down! When you are exiting the torii gates have have writing on everyone ... not sure what they say though!

On the back side of the mountain on the way down there were fewer torii gates, but the scenary was better than the way up.

This was one of the neater shrine areas, it went really far back into the hill side.

The pair of torii gates on the way out.

One the neatest pictures I think!

Kendall taking a picture!

Some open area near the base of the torii gate trail, not sure if a shrine is constructed here sometime or what.

On the way back down to the entrance.

A cute girl getting her picture taken while dressed in a Kimono.

a red tree next the shops near the shrine

 

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺 Golden Pavilion Temple) is the name of one of the buildings in the Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺 Deer Garden Temple) in Kyoto, Japan, and is the main attraction of the temple grounds. The Golden Pavilion (formally called 'Shariden') was originally built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. It was his son who converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school. The temple was burned down several times during the Ōnin War. Yoshimitsu's grandson used Kinkaku-ji as the inspiration for Ginkaku-ji, a Buddhist temple, which he intended to cover in silver.

The entire pavilion except the basement floor is covered with pure gold leaf. The pavilion functions as a shariden, housing relics of the Buddha. On the roof of the pavilion is a golden fenghuang or "Chinese phoenix".

In 1950, the temple was burned down by a mentally disturbed monk; a fictionalized version of the events is at the center of Yukio Mishima's 1956 book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The present structure dates from 1955. Recently, the coating of Japanese lacquer was found a little decayed and a new coating as well as gilding with gold-leaf, much thicker than the original coatings was completed in 1987. Additionally, the interior of the building, including the paintings were also restored. Finally, the roof was restored in 2003.

The land where the Golden Pavilion sits was used in the 1220s as a villa for Kintsune Saionji. The pond near the Golden Pavilion is called Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond).

Ashley at the entrance of Kinkaku-ji

A map of kinkaku-ji area.

beautiful colors ...

Kinkaku-ji and Kyōko-chi

a small little waterfall (on the left) on the grounds of Kinkaku-ji

People throwing money into a stone bowl ... or atleast trying to.

 

Ginkaku-ji (銀閣寺), the 'Temple of the Silver Pavilion,' is a Buddhist temple in the Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. The temple's official name is Jishō-ji (慈照寺). It was built in 1474 by the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who sought to emulate the golden Kinkaku-ji commissioned by his grandfather Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.

The Kannon hall is the main building at the temple. It is popularly known as Ginkaku, the Silver Pavilion. The intention was to cover it in silver, but due to the increasing severity of the Ōnin War, which broke out several years earlier in 1467, construction was halted, and the silver covering never placed on the pavilion. The building, originally intended to be a monument to ostentation, is now taken as an example of Japanese refinement and restraint.

Like Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji was originally built to serve as a place of rest and solitude for the Shogun. During his reign as Shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa inspired a new outpouring of traditional culture, which came to be known as Higashiyama Bunka, the Culture of the Eastern Mountain. Having retired to the villa, it is said Yoshimasa sat in the pavilion, contemplating the calm and beauty of the gardens as the Ōnin War worsened and Kyoto was burned to the ground. In 1485, Yoshimasa became a Zen Buddhist monk, and after his death the villa became a Buddhist temple, renamed Jishō-ji.

Of all the temple buildings once standing, only the Silver Pavilion remains.

In addition to that building, the temple features wooded grounds covered with a variety of mosses, and a Japanese garden, supposedly designed by the great landscape artist Soami. The rock and sand garden of Ginkaku-ji is particularly famous, and a pile of sand said to symbolize Mount Fuji has now come to be a part of the garden.

The small creek that runs around the area of Ginkaku-ji

The pathway up to Ginkaku-ji ... shops everywhere!

Kendall and Ashley checkin' out the goods.

A map of Ginkaku-ji area.

A beautiful garden at the entrance ...

The gravel is perfect looking.

The large rock and sand garden of Ginkaku-ji.

beautiful colors ...

Samples of the different kinds of moss growing in the garden.

Looking back to the buildings at the entrance of Kinkaku-ji.

Looking out at Kyoto.

The top of Ginkaku-ji

The wooded forest surrounding the gardens.

Ginkaku-ji