Tour Locations | Fushimi Inari Shrine: An In-Depth Guide
LOCATION 2 | Fushimi Inari Shrine: An In-Depth Guide
Torii Gate and Japanese Religions
Facing the huge Torii gate, please make a brief stop on the left side of it.
The gate represents an entrance to God's property. So traditional worshipers would bow before crossing the gate.
If you don't mind, please do so and stop again.
You just crossed the first gate. You have 9999 more to go!
With 8 million Gods, there are many gates and shrines everywhere.
Especially Inari Shrine is one of the most convenient and accessible shrines in Japan. There are about 30000 Inari in Japan, and you're in the headquarters now. Inari shrine has always been there for people whether you are in noble class, or farmers. It's so close to people and convenient like 7-11, it's not just a joke. This shrine was built in the year 711. Now you never forget, the convenient year!
Now please start walking on the left side.
Worshipers believe a god's energy is flowing in the center, so they don't step on it.
Now, Shintoism has such an open and tolerant nature. Today religious views in Japan are interesting. If you ask random Japanese what religion they believe in, what do they say? Shintoism, or Buddhism?
Actually a lot of them say, "I don't know..." or "I don't have any religions". It doesn't mean they are atheists. The religions are so close to their lifestyle, that they don't even realize they are practicing ceremonies and rituals daily.
For example, they celebrate Xmas, then a week later, they'd go to a temple on New Year's Eve, the next day on New Year's Day, they go to a shrine. That's 3 different religions in one week. You'll hear a lot of stories about this shrine and Japanese culture in this tour, you might end up being more knowledgeable than ordinary Japanese people.
Continue walking toward the next gate.