Autumn Story In Japan 2013 – Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社)

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Our sad face because we took the express train and it does not stop at Inari Station. When we reach JR Nara Line in Kyoto Station, this express train is already there and we check with one of the station guard if this express train stops at Inari Station, and he said ‘Yes’.

So, happily we board the train thinking ‘Oh how lucky that the train is here and we do not have to wait.’ Only when we realise that the train is taking longer than usual to reach Inari that we realise the train does not stop at Inari and has pass through it. *smacks self*

So… we alight at the next station that the train stops and take the normal train back to Inari Station. Phew~~ lucky it does not take too long. Lol!

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Too happy to see Inari Station that I just have to take a photo with this sign board. 😛

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Once exit Inari Station, Fushimi Inari Shrine is just right outside. My friend call this the Fox Shrine. 😀

It is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto and is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.

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The shrine is really beautiful with bright red-orange-y exterior. 🙂 It is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice.

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Now you know why my friend says this is the ‘Fox Shrine’. 😛

Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital’s move to Kyoto in 794.

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Ema and colourful fox tails. I am not too sure what is the meaning of these colourful fox tails. The downside of a free and easy trip, no tour guide to explain to you about the meaning or history of some places or interesting sightings.

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Before the trip, I already make up my mind that I want to write a ‘torii gate’ shape ema when I visit Fushimi Inari Shrine because it is so cute and also, the shrine is famous for it’s rows of torii gates! 😀

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The famous thousands of torii gates in a row leading to Mount Inari. I should have visited this place in the morning because it is so super crowded in the late afternoon that taking a serene photo of the torii gates is not possible because of the crowd in the backdrop.

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The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and the donator’s name and date of the donation are inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate.

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We complete the first part of the torii gates trail and decide to end there. Lol.

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Exit the shrine and turn to the right, there is this street with souvenir shops and food stalls.

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Queued long for Takoyaki and it’s just mediocre. I still prefer the ones we have at Nara. Nicer. Hehe.

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Hiroshima Yaki! This is really good! The vegetables below are just so sweet and juicy! If we have more stomach space, I would definitely go buy a 2nd one to eat. 😛

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Autumn Story In Japan 2013 – Nara – Todaiji (東大寺, Great Eastern Temple)

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Many souvenir shops and roadside food stalls lined the pathway to Todaiji. Besides these, deer crossing the pathway or strolling on the pathway brushing against tourist is also a spectacular sight. The deer here are bigger, more active and brave. Brave, in the sense that they are not afraid of humans and humans, like me, is afraid of them. Haha!

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Bought Takoyaki at one of the roadside stalls and it’s so piping hot, big and yummy. But I did not eat with a peace of the mind because the deer are eyeing on my food! I even saw a deer approaching an auntie and poke at her butt. Opps!

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I am here at Todaiji! It is a gloomy day but did not stop the crowd because Todaiji is so jammed with locals and tourists!

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Todaiji is one of Japan’s most famous and historically significant temple and a landmark of Nara. It was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple’s influence on government affairs.

Todaiji’s main hall, the Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is the world’s largest wooden building, despite the fact that the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple hall’s size. The massive building houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha (Daibutsu) of 15 meters tall!

I usually do not feel comfortable to take photos inside of the temple so no photos of the tall Buddha but I’ll say it was spectacular!

Another popular attractions is a pillar with a hole in its base that is the same size as the Daibutsu’s nostril. It is said that those who can squeeze through this opening will be granted enlightenment in their next life.

No, we did not gain enlightenment because we fear that we will be stuck in the hole and make a whole joke out of ourselves before we gain the enlightenment! Lol! Mostly are children who go through the hole. I saw a slim teenager almost get stuck in it, so….

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Close-up view of the wooden building. The designs are very detailed and beautiful, I would say. 😀

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There’s a neoprint machine just near the exit of the temple. Oh neoprint and temple, what a great combination. Hur.

But it is fun to take neoprints in Japan because there’s auto photo editing which makes my face sharp and eyes big. Ooh wah~~~. And I finally fulfil my wishes of taking a close-up selfie with deer. 😀