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

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