Journals

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Night walk at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Today we go for a night photo-walk to Fushimi Inari-taisha, the head shrine of the kami Inari, located just a train stop away from the bustling city of Kyoto.

The first time I visited Fushimi Inari-taisha was way back in January of 2016 Since then I have been to the heritage site a couple of times but I never came around to writing about it Fushimi Inari-taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the Kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku area of Kyoto The shrine sits at the base of a mountain, also named Inari, which is roundabout 230 meters in height Most of the shrine’s prominent structures are located right at the base of the mountain However, for the adventurous types there are numerous trails that lead right up to the summit of the Inari mountain, where you can find some very old
Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle

Inuyama Castle is located in the city of Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The castle overlooks the Kiso River, which serves as the border between Aichi and Gifu prefectures. Inuyama Castle is one of only 12 original Japanese castles.

Located in the outskirts of Nagoya, Inuyama Castle is one of the 12 original Japanese castles Founded in 1440 CE along the Kiso river, it dominates the quaint town of Inuyama from its stunning position over the hill After an interesting morning at Gifu Castle, we took the JR train to Unuma Station From the station its a 25 minute walk to the Castle Please note that I used the JR line because I had the JR Pass on me If you are paying for tickets, it would be more meaningful to use the Meitetsu line and get down at the Inuyamayuen station which is a lot closer to the castle
Gifu Castle

Hike to Gifu Castle

Gifu Castle is a castle located in the city of Gifu, Gifu Prefecture, Japan. Along with Mount Kinka and the Nagara River, it is one of the main symbols of the city.

Today is an interesting day as I get to explore two of Japan’s most beautiful castles in the Chubu region The first one, Gifu Castle or Gifu-jo, as it is called in Japanese, rests atop Mt Kinka, located in the city of Gifu in Gifu Prefecture The castle was initially established here as a fortress by Nikaido Yukimasa under orders from the Kamakura Shogunate in 1201 CE It was then known as Inabayama Castle The fortress was later renovated into the polished structure we see today by Saito Dosan who became master of the castle in 1539 In 1567 Oda Nobunaga invaded Mino and took control of
Gifu Great Buddha

Great Buddha of Shoho-ji

The Gifu Great Buddha is a massive Buddhist statue located in Shōhō-ji in Gifu Prefecture of Japan. Completed in 1832 CE, it is the only Daibutsu created of wood and lacquer.

After a beautiful morning at Gifu Castle we were ready to proceed to our next destination in Inuyama But before we left the area, we dropped by to see the Shōhō-ji Temple – a rarely visited Buddhist temple near Gifu Park Shōhō-ji Temple Shōhō-ji Temple lies at a 5 minute walk from Gifu Park If you are already here to see the Gifu Castle, you might as well spend a few minutes exploring the unique Golden Buddha at this temple made out of lacquer Shoho-ji Temple The temple building looks very innocuous from the outside, for a
Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine

Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社, Yasaka Jinja), also known as Gion Shrine, is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. Founded over 1350 years ago, the shrine is located between the popular Gion District and Higashiyama District, and is often visited by tourists walking between the two districts.

Today I went to capture the beauty of Yasaka Shrine, one of Kyoto’s most prominent tourist spot Yasaka-jinja (八坂神社) is a Shinto shrine in the Gion District of Kyoto The shrine never lacks in visitors throughout the year due to the various festivals spread across the year For photographers like me, there is an added incentive that the gates to the shrine remain open at all times, which makes it possible to visit even at late hours when the crowds are comparatively less Me and my wife, Mani, were staying in the quiet town of Izumo in Shimane Prefecture After a lovely week in Shimane where we experienced a beautiful
Matsue Castle

The black Castle of Matsue

Matsue Castle is one of the few remaining medieval castles in Japan in their original wooden form. It is also known as the black castle due to its dark color. The castle is located near Lake Shinji, surrounded by many canals where tourists can take a memorable boat ride.

Matsue Castle in the Shimane Prefecture of Japan, is one of only 12 remaining medieval castles in their original wooden form The castle was built as a fortress over a period of five years and completed in 1611 CE by the local feudal lord and founder of Matsue City, Yoshiharu Horio The castle is sometimes called the “black castle” after its dark-colored exterior I and my wife, Mani were in Izumo for a few days We were staying at the Dormy Inn Hotel, adjacent to Inzumoshi Station It is a good place to stay if you are touring Izumo The hotel’s proximity to the JR train station is very helpful if you will be
Inasahama Beach

Inasahama Beach

Inasahama is one of the most sacred Japanese beaches located in Japan where Gods are said to have descended to make it their own country on Earth.

Inasa Beach (稲佐の浜) is one of the most sacred Japanese beaches located in Japan It is mentioned several times in Kojiki, said to be the oldest written chronicle in Japan The book written in ancient words and difficult to read even for the Japanese, speaks of ancient Japanese myths and the beginnings of the island nation itself According to the scriptures of the Kojiki, there are said to be 8 million gods The Amatsukami (heavenly gods) were ruled over by Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess & the most important deity of the Shinto religion Amaterasu is the daughter of Izanami and Izanagi who made their daughter ruler of the heaven The Kojiki
Izumo Taisha

Praying for love at Izumo Taisha

Izumo-taisha, officially Izumo Ōyashiro, is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan.

Izumo-taisha, also known as Izumo Ōyashiro, is one of the most ancient and important Shinto shrines in Japan No record gives the exact date of its establishment, but some of the oldest mythological stories of the country originate at this very place Located in Izumo of Shimane Prefecture, the shrine is dedicated to the god of nation-building, Okuninushi-no-okami, and it is said that, if you visit the shrine, you will have great luck when it comes to your love life and personal relationships How to reach Izumo-taisha I and my wife, Ranita, were staying at the Dormy Inn, just beside the Izumoshi Station Dormy Inn is a
Hinomisaki Shrine

Hinomisaki Shrine

Hinomisaki Shrine is an ancient shrine encircled by a grove of old pine trees near Cape Hino in the Izumo city of Shimane Prefecture. The vermillion-lacquered shrine, described as “Misa Gisha” in the ancient text of the Izumo no Kuni Fudoki, was built in honor of two sibling deities with a prominent presence in Japanese mythology; Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, and her younger sibling Susano, god of storms and the sea.

After spending a beautiful breezy morning at the Hinomisaki lighthouse, we walked down to the Hinomisaki Shrine, which is just about 15 minutes away It was pretty easy following the markers leading towards the shrine Hinomisaki Shrine was built in honor of two deities with a prominent presence in Japanese mythology: Amaterasu, the goddess of the Sun, and Susano, the god of storms and the sea The temple is believed to bring luck in business & travelling The weather had greatly improved and the dark grey clouds had scattered away At the entrance of the shrine grounds a white stone Torii welcomed us into the temple grounds

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