Ask me anything   Submit   Welcome to Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips, where you will be able to see a traditional and ancient part of Kyoto and Nara that not many travel guides offer. This is a community to share your experiences in Japan and to learn more about this often elusive culture. Here you will find information on popular tourist sites of Nara and Kyoto and also the not-so-popular sites which are often equally rewarding. You can also find information posted on the wall about famous Japanese peoples' birthdays, famous historical events, and different odd and widely unknown traditions. Discover a side of Japan which you never knew existed, here at Kyoto and Nara Dream Trips!

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    Today was Yoi-Yama-Ato-Matsuri (宵山後祭) for the Gion Matsuri, 2014. I was curious to see the new float, Ofune-Hoko (大船鉾). It has not participated in the Gion matsuri for more than 150 years. So many people wanted to see the float that has been restored at a cost 0f 120.000.000¥. Although the ship is a reconstruction the carpets date back to the 16th century and came from Portugal. There is a lot of history attached to this float. According to a story in the ancient chronicle “Nihon Shoki”, Empress Jingu led an invasion of Korea in the 3rd century. This float, Ofune Hoko, represents the ship used on returning in victory. Ofune Hoko is the last float in the latter festival procession, on July 24th.
    The float is dedicated to the deities Empress Jingu, Sumiyoshi Myo-jin, Kajima Myo-jin and Ryu-jin. A dragons head, made in 1804, and an 1813 daikinpei (a 2 meter gold coated version of a shinto ritual instrument) once adorned the bow. However, the dragons head was lost through a fire during the Hamaguri Gomon Incident of 1864.
    Waiting in full anticipation to see the float in the parade tomorrow!

    — 9 hours ago with 1 note
    #Ato-Matsuri  #Gion Matsuri  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Ofune-Hoko  #Yoi-Yama-Ato-Matsuri  #大船鉾  #宵山後祭  #後祭  #祇園祭り 

    The Kaminari (Thunder) Stone in the precincts of the Mitsurugi-sha along the Inariyama pilgrims route at the Fushimi Inari Taisha. In the book “Meisho Miyakodori”, an odd-looking monk visited here and bound thunder into the stone with his spiritual powers. It is believed, that when you touch the stone, God will bless you. Therefore the Kaminari (Thunder) Stone is a famous and popular “power spot” in Kyoto.

    After leaving the Yakurikisha (薬力社) the path becomes quit steep and is till lined with many vermilion coloured Torii. My next stop is the Mitsurugi-sha (御劔社-釼石) and its famous Kaminari (Thunder) Stone, sometimes also called the Tsurugi (Sword) Stone (釼石). This rock is very famous and is one Shinseki places in Japan. Shinseki is a place where a God is enshrined. Legend has it that, in the book “Meisho Miyakodori”, an odd-looking monk visited here and bound thunder into the stone with his spiritual powers. It is believed, that when you touch the stone, God will bless you. A Shimenawa (標縄) rope is placed around this “power rock”.
    You can see the thunder stone is very popular, because many small Torii and even small Inari foxes are placed around it.
    The Temizuya (手水舎) for the Mitsurugi-sha has a replica of the famous sword that legendary blacksmith Sanjō Munechika (三条宗近) forged is atop of this Temizuya (手水舎). Legend has it that, Munechika, Inari and their fox spirits helped forge the blade kogitsune-maru (Little Fox) in the late 10th century.
    Another peculiarity can be found as you look closer at the Komainu (狛犬) that stand as guardians. The one of the left has a tiny baby komainu that is suckling from its mother breast. It is believed that, whoever donated this to the shrine, dedicated it for his child’s health and well being.
    Well of to the top now of Inariyama, a few more climbs and mission accomplished!

    — 19 hours ago with 22 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kaminari stone  #Kyoto  #Mitsurugi-sha  #Shinto  #Tsurugi Stone  #hiking  #伏見稲荷大社  #御劔社-釼石  #釼石  #雷石 

    A few more steps and you’ll reach the top of Mt. Inari and the Ue-no-Yashiro (上ノ社) shrine. The first peak on the Fushimi Inariyama pilgrims route is called Ichi no Mine (一の峰) in Japanese.

    Continuing on my journey to the top of Mt. Inari, I reached the “first peak” or in Japanese (Ichi no Mine 一の峰). Depending how you climb the mountain, you pass the third peak and the second peak before reaching the top. Myself, I decided to take the opposite route along the other side of the mountain. This route is a bit steeper to traverse, depending on your agility, be mindful of this when you choose which way to go when you reach Yotsutsuji viewpoint (四辻).
    There is a small shop where you can get food and drink and you can buy Engimono lucky charms (縁起物).
    Although this is the top of Mt. Inari, there is no view point here, this is 233 meters above sea level. From here on, well, its all the way down. Happy hiking!

    — 1 day ago with 76 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Shinto  #hiking  #伏見稲荷大社 
    The Sandō (参道) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭).

    The Sandō (参道) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭).

    — 2 days ago with 8 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    The Two Story Gate (楼門) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    The Two Story Gate (楼門) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 23 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    The Sandō (参道) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭).

    The Sandō (参道) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭).

    — 2 days ago with 19 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    The Two Story Gate (楼門) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    The Two Story Gate (楼門) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 2 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    A view of the Honden (本殿) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭). Rows of sake bottles and artistically decorated lanterns.

    A view of the Honden (本殿) of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Yoi-miya Festival (宵宮祭). Rows of sake bottles and artistically decorated lanterns.

    — 2 days ago with 4 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    The Gonden of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    The Gonden of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 5 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Gonden  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    One of the more than 1.000 Tōrō (stone lanters-燈籠) lit on Inari Mountain during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社).

    One of the more than 1.000 Tōrō (stone lanters-燈籠) lit on Inari Mountain during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社).

    — 2 days ago with 2 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    Gankake Ema (願掛け絵馬) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri. They are horse shaped prayer tablets, I’ve only seen this particular type in Fushimi Inari taisha.

    Gankake Ema (願掛け絵馬) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri. They are horse shaped prayer tablets, I’ve only seen this particular type in Fushimi Inari taisha.

    — 2 days ago with 4 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Gankake Ema  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭  #願掛け絵馬 
    The Okusha Shrine (奥社奉拝所) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri. Everything is dressed up in a festive mood, did you notice the many sake bottles in the sanctuary?

    The Okusha Shrine (奥社奉拝所) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri. Everything is dressed up in a festive mood, did you notice the many sake bottles in the sanctuary?

    — 2 days ago with 1 note
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Okusha Shrine  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #奥社奉拝所  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 4 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Senbon Torii  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #千本鳥居  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 3 notes
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Senbon Torii  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #千本鳥居  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭 
    The entrance to the Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    The entrance to the Senbon Torii (千本鳥居-1.000 red shrine gates) at Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) during the Motomiya-sai Matsuri.

    — 2 days ago with 1 note
    #Fushimi Inari Taisha  #Japan  #Kyoto  #Motomiya-sai  #Senbon Torii  #Shinto  #Yoi-miya  #matsuri  #伏見稲荷大社  #千本鳥居  #宵宮祭  #本宮祭