October 4, 2016

The Fox and the Tree

Shinto Shrines ( 神社 )are all over Japan, you can find massive ones in the middle of cities, or small ones tucked down a side street. There are many types of shrines for different gods. One type is the Inari Shrine, where the Inari God is the god of foxes, fertility, rice, tea, sake, agriculture and industry, and of general prosperity and worldly success. There are only about 13 main Inari shrines in Japan, one of the most famous being only an hour drive away from my apartment.

Yutoku Inari Shrine

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Yutoku Inari Shrine – Kashima City, Saga Prefecture Japan.

Hand Washing

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Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Koi

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Koi need food too.

Shrine

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One of many places to ask what you may of the gods.

Asking

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Toss your coin- bow twice- clap twice- say what you wish- bow to finish.

Stairway To

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Then you start the climb.

Torii

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Inari Shrines tend to have a lot of Torii (red gates) to walk through on the way up.

Snake Torii

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Don’t forget to look around.

Torii Down

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Sometimes you must go down in order to go up.

Gates

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Which Path will you choose?

Rocky Climb

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The stairways sometimes disappear.

Greens

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Paths off the side tend to lead to smaller shrines.

Wood

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There is never a shortage of beauty at a shrine.

Mushroom

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You know I have to take a picture of the mushrooms.

Downward

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We’ll take the back-road home.

You can find tree’s whenever you look out your door if you live in the country. When you live in the city, it can be another story. In the west, we tend to see trees as easily replaceable whereas sometimes, it’s best if we just leave them alone. The locals in Takeo City, Saga Prefecture Japan have done just that, for the last 3,000+ years.

Entrance

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A dramatic entrance to a living legend.

Dragon's Breath

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Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Bamboo Way

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The bamboo vs. pine road.

3000

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Sometimes, beauty can’t be captured in a picture.

Mr. 3000

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A 100 ft tall, 3,000 year old tree. Power spot.

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