There’s a scene I particularly liked in the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha. It showed young Sayuri running through an endless gateway of vermillion torii (shrine gates). What I liked was the location of the scene and the cinematography. It was spectacular.
Filmed at Fushimi Inari Taisha (Fushimi Inari Shrine), the gates resembled a series of mathematical pie symbols. This is one of Kyoto’s oldest and most revered Shinto shrines.
On our last morning in Kyoto, John and I decided to check it out. The location would be wonderful for photography. I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera. An iPhone camera just wouldn’t do; not for this. On the brighter side of things, I’m travelling with a photographer and I can be assured of getting good images.
Water for purification before worship
Prayers written on wooden tablets resembling foxes, guardians of the temple.
Founded in 711 AD Fushimi Inari has 10,000 torii that trail 4km uphill through the thickly-wooded Mount Inari. The gates were built so closely to one another that they form a vermillion tunnel.
These structures were built through donations by businesses and individuals whose prayers have been answered by Inari, god of rice and sake; and in today’s context has become, god of success and prosperity. The names of the donors are carved and painted on the pillars.
This is one of Kyoto’s most impressive and memorable sights. It is only 15 mins away from Kyoto city by train and a destination not to be missed.