Climbing Mount Inari (Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto)

Climbing Mount Inari (Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto)

Yesterday morning, I completed the second non-solo ascent of my 100 Summits Project: Mount Inari (Fushimi Inari Taisha) in Kyoto. The day before, I traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto via shinkansen (bullet train) with my mother, stepdad, and family friends Laurie and Kaitlyn Bolland (as well as my son) to begin several days of hiking and R&R in advance of our planned ascent of Mt. Fuji later this week. (While the weather may not cooperate on Fuji, we’re hoping the predicted storms pass by and we get the chance to climb.)

Read more

The Cats of Fushimi Inari

Like many Japanese shrines and temples, Fushimi Inari Taisha, south of Kyoto, has its share of resident cats. Although not numerous, the cats appear to be permanent residents of the shrine, and though some, like this little fellow: seem to live on the mountain itself. That said, unlike most feral cats, the residents of Fushimi Inari seemed eager for human attention. The handsome tuxedo in the photo above followed me along the path, meowing insistently, until I stopped to pet him. A group of visitors gathered behind me, pointing at the cat, and as soon as I left him they moved in

Read more

Starting up the Mountain at Fushimi Inari Taisha

(This blog picks up where last week’s tour of Fushimi Inari left off. To start at the beginning, click here.) Fushimi Inari’s primary altar stands just past the massive entry gates. Although the shrine has many altars – large ones as well as lesser ones (some dedicated to Inari and others to different kami, though most of them are Inari’s since it’s Inari’s sacred mountain).  Behind the main altar, and to the left, stands the first and widest of the many staircases that lead visitors up the sacred mountain. Three sub-shrines with collection boxes sit at the top of the first large staircase, along with

Read more