Thursday, October 8, 2020

Fushimi Inari Shrine

 The Origin here dates back to 711 before the capital was moved to Kyoto. 

The people believed Inari Mountain was a sacred mountain. The strong clan, Hata, created a shrine here. It has been loved by local people since then. Now it is very popular because of the consecutive rad gates called Torii gate. But these Torii gates began to appear here much later.

This says Fushimi Inari shrine. Inari means rice or rice bag, so this shrine is specialized  in bumper crops. Next to this,   you will see a fox statue with rice plant in the mouth. 
A fox is a messenger of the Shinto deity or Kami here.  There are four kinds in the foxes'  mouth.

A ball for treasure ball,  Rice, a key for rice ware house  and a paper scroll for wisdom.

In old times in spring, foxes came out of the mountain to seek food. But when the people saw them, as they are from the sacred mountain, people believed that they must be a messenger of Kami.

You can see the mountain behind the shrine building. It is a part of the shrine. In this way, the precinct is very large covering all the mountain.
All the gates including the gate tower are donations by the worshippers.  After two big red gates, you will come to the two storied gate. It is also a donation, donated by then ruler in 16th century who united the nation after the war time in Japan.
He wished the recovery of his mother's illness.

On the side of the second red gate,  this place can be seen.  This is the place for a car.  Some people who bought a car bring their cars here to ask the Shinto priest to ( in a sense ) purify a car so that they will have no accident.

We make a wish in front of the main hall. the benefit of this shrine is of course rice harvest, but recently many people make a wish for business prosperity. It is also a benefit here because of the merchant in samurai time. ( His business went successful after worshipping to Inari shrine)

The red gates started to be donated since around this time.
We believe that to walk through the gate is to realize the wish.
Anyway, walking through the consecutive gates produces special atmosphere
This red gate tunnel goes to the top of the mountain, you need 1 hour and 40 min to go and come back. 

At the first station called Okunosha, you can see the map of the mountain. Even in the court noble time, the people walked up to the top. We can tell thanks to the diary kept by a female writer.
It seemed tough for her to walk all the way.

Here please watch the video I made.

Sunday, September 27, 2020


 Amanohashidate is one of three scenic spots in Japan. First, Please see this video, short introduction

Amanohashidate means the bridge to heaven. It appears in Japanese mythology.

A Shinto diety, ( kami ), Izanagi, put a ladder between heaven and earth. However, while he was taking a nap, the ladder fell down and became Amanohashidate.

It is 3.5 kilometer sand bar with 20 meter to 170 meter width. It has about 5000 to 8000 pine trees. 

In the middle of this sand-bar, there is a small shrine, Amanohashidate shrine.

It's a power-spot of love matching♪

Next to the shrine, you will find a small well. It is a well. Though it is located between the sea, the water here is not sea water. 

After arriving at JR station of Amanohashidate, at the beginning, there is a temple which enshrines Monju bosatsu or Buddhism statue of wisdom.

When you worship here, you will be given wisdom.

In the temple, you will see cute small fans hanging from the pine tree branches.

This is fortune telling card called OMIKUJI. Usually omikuji is a thin paper card. After knowing our fortune, and if it is not a good one, we fold it into small piece and tie to the tree. But here, it is a fan, and looks very cute.

At the sea-side, you will see a stone ring, it's a wisdom ring. Please walk around it three times, and you will gain wisdom. Also you will see a turning bridge which turns around when a boat goes out to the sea. 

To go across to the other side of Amanohashidate, you can use a rental bike or a boat. You need one hour to walk through. Any way is fine as you like.  When you reach the other side, let's visit Moto Ise Kono shrine. The shrine has long history. It is said that, before the ancestor of The Emperor, Amaterasu, came to be enshrined in Ise-Jingu shrine, she was enshrined a couple of places as the daughter of then Emperor traveled looking for a appropriate place. Amaterasu was enshrined here for a certain period. Of course it is still enshrined here along with the other three kamis.

So it has similar air here as Ise Jingu shrine.
Behind the shrine, there is a cable car station. Let's go up to the hill park
Here , you can command a very nice view of Amanohashidate.  But there is a cetain way to view. Please stand against the sea with your legs open, and bend over your body forward.  Then please view Amanohashidate between your legs. This way is called Matanozoki, literary --between your leg- viewing 

You will see this !!
It is like a bridge to heaven. That's why..
By the way, this is the newspaper article when the way to view was awarded Ig-Nobel prize in 2016, showing how to view
Please enjoy the nice view !!

Monday, July 6, 2020

A quiet moss garden in Arashiyama

The rainy season shows the beautiful green garden with moss here.
Though it is a small temple, when you stand in the garden and view the moss, it soothes  your feeling.

Dating back to Court Noble time in 12th century, there was a beautiful dancer/singer, called Shirabyo-shi. equivalent to a current pop singer and dancer. Her name is Gio.

One day, she visited the most powerful man, the top of Sumurai. Taira Kiyomori.
She wanted him to see her dance . Her wish was realized and he saw her dance. and really liked/loved her

Then, she started to live with him in his palace.

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Ninja!

This is the ninja !

Many people who visit Japan are interested in " NINJA"
Maybe the first encounter of Ninja is in a movie or an animation film, isn't it?

Just a couple of years ago, the people who want to have such a special experience had to go to so-called Ninja village, for example, Iga Ninja village or Koga ninja village.
But I have good news !

You can enjoy Ninja workshop in KYOTO !
It is in the building in downtown. in Kyoto

When you enter the room, the real descendant of Iga ninja will welcome you with a smile.

 Though he is the sixth generation of Iga,  he said he was born in an ordinally family. He learned everything about Ninja from the other instructor of Ninja.

According to him, he says he is the sixth generation but he has older generation  but he could not make sure.

Please look his finger and you will see something on his finger This is for attack.
The movie usually exaggerates the action of the ninja, but basically they work for collecting the necessary information for their lords.
Almost all the weapons were used for protecting themselves when they were attacked or their secret mission was found.

These are something like spikes. You can easily imagine it is very hard to walk on them.  They are natural seeds and completely dried. I touched them and found it  very hard, Of course I don't want to walk on them

He is throwing Ninja stars

Can you find one sword different from the others?
Samurai sword is a little bent to fight in an open space to cut somebody
However, Ninja's weapons are used in various ways, making most of them. For instance, the one on the top of the shelf  is not bent. and has a square  brim.
The brim is used to step on  for climbing the wall. in addition to protecting their hand
The tip of the sword case can be taken off, and used for the breathing tube when in the water.
The string can be used for wielding to intimidating and securing the space between him and the enemy.

In this way, you can enjoy the several ways of lesson or experience there.

When we left there, answering my question, he said
The ninja worked on a family unit basis. They are something like  contract workers in this modern society 
For their contract, they showed loyalty to the lord for the future business. And all the samurai lord hired ninja to collect information and use for strategy in the war.
I have seen the scene in which a ninja jumps onto the roof or jumps off from the high wall.
The sixth generation said, in those days, people did not train themselves to jump higher or in the way ninja did. So when the people saw the ninja leaping off from the top of the wall, it looked like a superman ! It is really persuasive 

Ninja Dojo

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Zen cuisine

There are some zen cuisine restaurants in Kyoto
But my recommendation is this!!

This is the entrance.

You will have zen cuisine in a private room.
The dish is served one by one.
You will have a quite atmosphere just enjoying the nice cuisine.

Please walk this path to the entrance door


This is the entrance

deep fried vegetables

This is not daikon but potato, can you see/

Please enjoy dinner while enjoying the flowers outside

This is made of sweet potato and somen noodles

All served here is made from vegetables
The soup is also taken from seaweed, Kobu.

Kanga-an( 5 min walk from the station Kuramaguchi, Karasuma line )
Reservation is required ( from 2 people )
lunch 5000 yen / person

Friday, May 29, 2015

Yes, I will go to Kyoto!! ( the CM film broadcast in Japan)

There are famous CM films for advertising Kyoto.
It really shows the beauty of the ancient city and attracts many people.
Actually the places used in the film in the year is very crowded with Japanese tourists in the year.

But I still love this film.

Now the summer version is broadcast in Tokyo and the other area.

Along the film, the narrator says as below

Attracted by the winds and the greenery,
Where should I go?
When I can't make up my mind, I always open the guide book for Autumn.
That's because the sightseeing spots for Autumn leaves are also the ones for fresh green maples.
I can say it's a clue for the  early summer trip to Kyoto
Oh, I have told you my secret tip of travel.

The places used in this film is Eikando temple, Manshuin temple, Yasaka pagoda, Shirakawa and Tofukuji Tsuten bridge.

Why don't you visit there in early summer?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


If you have one more day to stay in Kyoto and are interested in seeing a scenery different from the ones in the temples in Kyoto city, why don't you visit Ohara area?  Sanzen-in, which is the most famous, welcomes your visit.

 Sanzen-in began its history as an accommodation of the monks who trained themselves in Enryakuji temple in Mt Hiei, founded by Saicho, or Dengyo Daishi.
After twist and turns, the temple moved here, Ohara area, in 1871.
In the moss-covered garden, you will find tiny stone statues with their faces showing  from the green moss. The garden was created making the most of the scenery of the mountain foot.

In the center of the moss garden, you will find Amida-hall, in which a statue of Amitabha and its following Bodhisattvas( or Bosatsu ) of Seishi and Kanon welcome you.
Since the second son of Emperor Horikawa came to be a monk of this temple, this temple has been one of the three Monseki jiin temples in Kyoto.
( Monseki-jiin ----  a member of Imperial family became a monk of.the temple )


From Kyoto station or Demachi Yanagi station : Kyoto bus  to Ohara
10 min walk from the bus stop
700 yen