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Epic Ancient Shrine in Kyoto

  • January 21, 2016
  • By Grace
Epic Ancient Shrine in Kyoto

I am Jacob Laukaitis, a 21 year old digital nomad, who’s already been to more than 30 countries in the last 2 years. I love making videos of places I visit so here’s one from my last trip to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Japan.

The shrine predates 794 when the capital of Japan moved to Kyoto. It sprawls all around the mountain and there are hundreds of small shrines, thousands of sculptures and more than 10,000 Torii gates. Every single one of those gates has been donated by an individual or an organization or a company from anywhere around the world. Their names are inscribed on the gates in Japanese characters. The prices start from 400,000 yen and go up to a million and even more!

In order to reach the shrine you need to trek up-hill for quite some time until you reach the wooden forest of the sacred Mount Inari which stands at 233 meters above sea level. Many people do not trek all the way to the top, because even though it’s not a very tough physical challenge, it’s still quite a stretch, especially for older people and kids. If you, however, decide to climb all the way up don‘t be suprised to find a lo In the beginning there are way too many people for it to be enjoyable, but the higher up you go, the more relaxing and interesting it gets.

Since the shrine has been there for ages it seems as a natural part of the mountain and surroundings, much more than the shopping malls, hotels or stations of Kyoto. It seems like it’s been around forever and it’s as much a part of the mountain as its trees and bushes.

This was my 2nd time visiting Fushimi Inari shrine. The first was exactly a year ago when I spent a month traveling around Japan. I remember that during my first time I was so excited to be able to explore the shrine and frankly couldn’t get enough of it. So this time one of the main reasons I decided to come to Kyoto was to be able to walk around the shrine again.

One odd thing I noticed while on my way up was that there were absolutely no garbage bins anywhere in the mountain, so I had to keep everything in my backpack. There would be no problem with that, but the green tea flavored coffee that I had bought at the vending machine spilled in my backpack and I spent 15 minutes running around trying to find some napkins to clean it up.

The shrine was really breathtaking. I plan on returning there every time I’m in Japan! I’d probably spend a little bit more time there – I’d find a place with no people whatsoever and sit there completely alone and enjoy the magnificent view. Maybe even read a book.

If you like to see more of my endeavors, I post 2 videos a month. My trips and videos are partly covered thanks to whom I can fund my travels. You can follow my trips on my personal website and on my Instagram profile where I post the best moments from my trips.

By Grace, January 21, 2016
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