We had a lovely day on Sunday. First, we headed over to Kyoto Station and went to Fushimi Inari Taisha, the head Inari shrine in Japan. Inari is the goddess of business and rice. Her messengers are the foxes, so you will see a pair of foxes outside of her shrines. One fox holds a ball, while the other either holds a sheath of rice, or a key to the granary.
The earliest parts of the shrine were built in the 700s, but the main part was built in the 1400s. Fushimi Inari is free to visit, and is a lot of fun. The main part is at the base of a mountain, but it is super fun to climb the mountain because you get to walk through thousands of torii (the red gates that mark the entrance to a shrine). I think it is much more pleasant in the spring and fall than the summer, though! That mountain sure feels high in 90 degree weather!
This is the main gate into Fushimi Inari Taisha.
The left-hand kitsune (fox) holding a key to the granary.
This is the kitsune (fox) on the right. He holds a ball in his mouth.
This is directly inside the main gate (the structure to the left).
These carvings are above the prayer area in the main shrine at Fushimi Inari Taisha.
The left hand kitsune holds in her mouth either rice or a key.
Me standing amongst the many torii.
Teddy in the torii.
Even the Avatar-esque spiders are joining in the fun!
The descent-side of the torii display the name of the company or people who donated the torii.
A lantern and mirrors (representing the goddess) inside of one of the many shrines at Fushimi Inari Taisha.
A cool waterspout amongst many shrines.
There was a shrine that had horse guardians instead of kitsune or komainu.
After our climb and descent, we stopped for a snack before going back into the city.
Iced Maccha and iced coffee.
Inaka mochi – a toasted chewy rice cake topped with soybean powder and sweetened red beans. (It sounds weird, but it was really good!!)
After returning to the city, we met up with Miriam, a JET friend. we had lunch, and then went to a neko cafe – a cafe where you pay by the hour to hang out with cats.
Since it was early afternoon, it was totally kitty cat nap time. It was cute to just watch them and pet the sleepy kitties, though.
This kitty loved the employee (pictured). He climbed up on the guy’s shoulder and wouldn’t get down for a while. This is him trying to hitch a ride again.
This cat is an aspiring model.
This cat was hiding up on the catwalk.
This picture makes me laugh, because it looks like the garbage can is stating the threat that the cat is thinking. 😀
This kitty is hiding.
This cutie let me pet her for a long time, and gave my hand a bath.
After hanging out with Miriam for a bit more at the river, we went to Kyoto Granvia Hotel at the station for a lovely wine tasting held by Liquor Mountain. We seriously paid only 1500 yen a piece to get in, and we got to try SO MANY WINES. I think we probably tried about 50-60 wines. They were pretty generous with their samples, too. We about floated to Capricciosa and karaoke that night. 🙂
Well, that is all for tonight. There will be at least one more Kyoto post before we resume our regular Nagoya programming! Stay tuned!