After we went to the Heian Shrine, we decided to head over to Fushimi Inari Taisha, the head shrine for Inari, the goddess (or god, depending on your view) of fertility, agriculture, and a bunch of other things. Basically, Inari is totally awesome.
I saw this at a train stop on the way to the shrine. NIK, I
The first building at the shrine. Look at those kitsune! Kitsune are the messengers of Inari, so the shrine is absolutely filled with them.
Leading up to the mountain.
This is up the mountain a bit. There are THOUSANDS of these gates (torii) all over the mountain. They're such a vivid red-orange, it's really incredible to see them against the green landscape.
Inside the torii. They've used this temple to film all sort of movies and the such. The credits of the seventh Conan movie (Crossroads in the Ancient Capital) is filmed here.
Temple kitty! There were a number of cats here. I guess cats and kitsune get along?
The first big set of shrines. There were tons of them there. Next time I go, I'll explore these one too. We got to the shrine late in the day, so we were worried about it getting too dark.
This is a lake on the mountain. Logically, this is the source of the curse that got me that day, but I'm not totally convinced.
Nur said this guy was doing image training. You can see some of Kyoto out there!
Another area of shrines! This was at the top of the mountain, so we explored these ones.
This is one of the many, many, many shrines up there. Almost every one is guarded by kitsune. I decided to take a picture of every kitsune up in that shrine area, so I ended up taking hundreds of pictures. I love me some kitsune.
...Unfortunately, I believe this is what cursed me. I woke up the next day absolutely covered in bites. I thought maybe there were mosquitos at the lake, but as time went on, my bites swelled up to monstrous proportions. Honestly, portions of my legs were totally swollen. They were EVERYWHERE. Nur got... one. ONE LITTLE BITE. I had dozens and dozens. So I think I upset the gods by either taking too many pictures of kitsune OR somehow missing one or two kitsune up there at the top. Either way, I was itchy for the next week and a half. It was worth it though, I have lots of kitsune pictures now. OH HO HO~ (please don't curse me again)
These two. I absolutely love these two. All of the kitsune are unique in some way, but these two really stood out. I decided to try to write a story about them... making all the kitsune couriers, since they are Inari's messengers. In my story, the female (on the left) is named Taisha. Sure, it's part of the location's title, but with different kanji it can also mean "red ochre," I believe. The dope on the right is Fushi ("wood knot")
I see Fushi as a totally outgoing retard of a guy... very noisy and almost always happy. Taisha is very reserved and quiet. And Fushi gets on her nerves often. I haven't done much with these two recently... I should start figuring out more of their story...
The top of the mountain! Looking down on Kyoto.
Nur in front of the shrine.
Me with one of the kitsune in the front.
Inari station! It was just a nice little station with a sort of old-homey feel to it. I really liked it there.
Fushimi Inari Taisha was hands down the best shrine we went to. It felt so... nice there. I can't wait to visit again. I really, really enjoyed being there, it was like being in a wonderful dream. =D
Thank-you for all the birthday wishes and love! I had a fantastic day yesterday. I was hoping to take the day off of work, but I got a little behind last week so I wasn't able to. I did take the time to go to Starbucks and try to figure out a complex math problem from The Numbers Behind Numb3rs. I learned that my math skills have dwindled from mediocre to plain horrid. I also took the time to think about my future. All in all, a very good day.