…otherwise known as Fushimi Inari-Taisha. (We nicknamed it Starfox Mountain). This shrine is the #1 Kyoto attraction on Trip Advisor, yet last time we were here, we somehow missed it. We really try hard not to fall into major tourist traps… I guess sometimes we try a little too hard. This one is amazing. If you go, prepare to walk up a ton of stairs (it’s about 35 minutes to the top), so be sure to wear good shoes like I didn’t.
Some fun geek trivia – a friend of Jack’s who lives here who worked on the old Super Nintendo game Star Fox, said that the concept of the game was inspired by the idea of flying through the torii (the orange tunnel-ey gates), at this shrine.
I personally have a little fox obsession because our little Shiba Inu pup, Annie, looks like a fox. Her nick name is even Star Fox. The significance of the fox at this shrine is this: Inari is the shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, which is why there are many fox statues across the shrine grounds.
Inari is also apparently the god of sponsorship. As we made our way back down the mountain, Jack started to (slowly) read some of the Japanese text on the poles… one of the first thing he deciphered were the words “dot com.” Then we realized that the beautiful Japanese text was in fact not poetic god text, rather, each was the name (and url apparently) of a different business!