Japan 2014 – Day 9

Busy day today in and around Kyoto.

I travelled by train from Osaka to Kawaramachi station in Kyoto, then walked to Gion-shijo station for another train to Fushimi-inari.

Fushimi-inari is the head shrine of the Shinto kami Inari in Japan. Kami are spirits or natural phenomenon that are worshipped as part of the Shinto religion. Inari are the kami of foxes, and of fertility, rice, tea and sake, agriculture and industry and general worldly success and prosperity.

Inari is one of the most popular kami in Japan with around a third of all Shinto shrines dedicated to them.

This particular shrine is famous for its thousands of torii gates.

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Fans of the film “memoirs of a geisha” will recognise the torii gates as part of the film was shot in the shrine.
I spent a few hours here and took lots of photos of the gates and surrounding shrines, so hopefully I’ll be able to share some of these with you when I return home.

After the shrine I spent some time in a neko-cafe near the train station.
This is basically a cafe where you pay to spend some time with some of the most chilled out cats I’ve ever met!

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After relaxing with some cats for a while it was back on the train to Gion for sunset so that I could grab some shots of the famous tea-rooms as they woke for the night.
I was also hoping to grab some shots of geisha on their way between their okiya and the tea-houses.
Unfortunately I didn’t manage to see any geisha on this trip but I did catch a few locals (men and women) in traditional kimono, so look out for them when I get home!

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I’m off to Nara tomorrow, ancient capital of Japan, and home to the Todai-ji Buddhist temple, the largest wooden structure in the world.
According to legend, the god Takemizazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital. Since then deer have been regarded as heavenly creatures and thousands of wild sika deer roam freely around the town.

I’m a bit nervous about this trip as last time I was there a deer BIT my backside…!

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