The Fushimi Inari-Taisha was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was absolutely beautiful, and as soon as I crossed over into its territory I wanted to run up the mountain and through the thousands of torii gates. I stopped in my tracks when my eyes slapped onto a sign for kimono rentals and within the hour I was wearing a light blue set with cranes flying across it and a flower in my done-up hair. It took a while to get used to wearing the wooden sandals but soon I was walking like a pro and followed the crowd through the food stalls and to the entrance of the grand shrine.
That’s what it really was – a grand shrine. It was huge and there were several other “buildings” that formed it. People lined up to cleanse their mouths and hands in the purification fountain and others lined up to pay their respects to the gods. There were also queues to buy lucky charms and the like and some could write their wishes onto a small piece of paper before tying it along with the others on the thread. I did what every other tourist did and observed, although I joined them in paying my respects and rining the bell before starting the walk through the thousand torii gates.
You know that one thing you need whilst trekking up a mountain? A drink. And you know the one thing you can’t do when wearing a constricting kimono? Go for a pee. Thank goodness I went before I got changed because man I was going to have a hard time otherwise. I soldiered on however and took little sips, careful not to stuff too much food down my gob but I couldn’t resist that good ol’ pocky. How weebish could I get? Wearing a kimono, eating pocky… Yeesh. I soon got quite worried as it was getting very cloudy and looked like it was going to pour it down with rain any minute, and there was no way in hell I was going to get my pretty kimono ruined. Besides, I walked half way up the mountain and saw plenty of shrines, so that’s good enough, right?
Apparently it’s harder to walk down than it was up in those wooden sandals and I was starting to regret my decision in wearing a kimono. I was like the caravan that everyone couldn’t wait to overtake on the country road, grasping tightly onto my other half so that I didn’t fall arse over tit and tumble down the mountain. But it was a pleasant walk down, and we took a different route and saw plenty of other mini shrines. We were thankful we left when we did; an hour later the skies opened up but I was out of my kimono and chilling in a cat cafe. Because why not.
So, what do you peeps think? Isn’t the Fushimi Inari-Taisha amaaaazing? I want to go again in a few years with comfortable shoes so that I could go all of the way to the top because I’m pretty bummed that I wasn’t able to. I love visiting little shrines and Japan is great for them.
Until next Sunday!