• LOCATION 14 | Fushimi Inari Shrine: An In-Depth Guide

    Okusha Back Shrine and Stones

    Okusha Back Shrine and Stones on Kyoto audio tour Fushimi Inari Shrine: An In-Depth Guide

    Please stop and look at the stone altar with some small gates.

    This is where people give prayers when they don't go onto the mountain.
    Some people have time and energy to go to the top, others don't.
    Some people can afford a big gate, but those who can't afford one donate smaller ones. It's all about your heart, and there's always a place for you.

    If you look up a bit, you can find a big rock surrounded by straw rope under a bigger gate. Anything surrounded by straw rope is sacred. And often it's with some zigzag white paper. By the way, the zigzag represents thunder, which scares away evil and brings rain, and rain is key for rice farming. We can again see the cultural connection with rice.

    Back to the rock, we don't know who and when this rock was brought here.
    Remember when this shrine was built? The CONVENIENT year?
    Yes, 711. When it's so old, it's natural that we don't know certain things.

    Now facing the altar, please walk to your right and stop at two stone lanterns with a ball of rock on top of each one.

    [5 SECONDS PAUSE]

    These are called Heavy Light Stone.

    First please choose one lantern, it doesn't matter which one you choose.

    Then you think about your wish, then imagine how heavy the ball of rock is, then actually lift it up. If it's heavier than you thought, you needs a lot of work to achieve your wish. If it's lighter than you thought, then the wish is easy for you to come true.

    Please note it's not about the actual weight, was it heavier, or lighter than you imagined?

    When you're ready, make your way back to the front of the shrine, then turn right to continue to another series of gates.

    You'll soon see some steps on your left leading up to a big tree stump. I'll meet you there.

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Fushimi Inari Shrine: An In-Depth Guide