Japan Study Abroad Post#2

Although I said I would talk about school work on this post, I have decided to only post happy moments on this blog. Therefore, today I am posting about one of the most famous sites in Japan that I have visited, Fushimi Inari-Taisha. Fushimi Inari-Taisha is a destination located in the mountains and is known for its thousands of torri gates. My roomates, Raeanne and Aiyana, and I strolled through Fushimi Inari-Taisha on a Saturday morning hoping to return back to the dorms by mid-day since we still had school work to do for the next day. However those plans unexpectedly changed… and I’m glad it did.

As we head up to the entrance of Fushimi Inari-Taisha we were greeted by stalls and stores on both sides selling food and souvenirs. The aroma of the street food made my empty stomach grumble but I figured that the walk around Fushimi Inari-Taisha would be short so I decided not to eat until the way back down.

Upon entering the torri gates we witnessed the two foxes (kitsune) that guarded the shrine on either side of the entrance. Then we started the ascent up the mountain through the torri gates like a packed swarm of fish with all the other visitors. The walk up was interesting but could not be fully enjoyed since everybody was fighting for that perfect picture… myself included.

On our way up the third set of torri gates we saw a detoured road that lead up the mountain up but not through the torri gates. We thought it would be a short detour and that we would circle around eventually so we just kept walking.

After passing a grave on the mountain we were joined by a old Japanese man who seemed to appear out of nowhere from the grave. We let the old man pass since we were slowing down to take pictures of the beautiful scenery. However the old man waited for us up the road and pointed out the stray cats that roamed around a vending machine. As we were taking a bunch of pictures we waited for a while for us but then later proceeded down the road again. Once we were done taking pictures of the cats, we too headed down the road. But not before long we saw the old man again gazing down at a stream below him seeming to be waiting for us. I kind of felt obligated to speak to him again so I approached him again to greet him. Before I had a chancec to greet him, he told me about the waterfall down below and lead us to it. The short interactions with the old man warmed my heart and is an interaction that I will remember forever.

After the waterfall and the old man we left to go up the mountain once again since apparently we were already close to the top. Once we we reached the top we were again on the main road of torri gates and joined the few people that courageously brazed the thousands of steps.

On our way down, we realized that our detoured path was a lot smoother and had less of an incline than the main road that seemed to loop around and around with thousand of steps.

Once arriving back at the entrance we were finally able to enjoy the street food and head back to the dorms to relax… or that’s what we wanted to do but in reality we couldn’t relax and had to study and do our homework that was due the next day after our around 7 hour adventure. Anyways it was a fun day.