Feb 212005
 

Noooooooo!!!! I just spent like an HOUR writing this post and then accidentally hit the “back” button on my browser, erasing the whole thing. Let’s see how much I can remember…once again…

So, after spending every day of the last week in my room studying Kanji, steam has officially started to shoot out of my ears. I REALLY want to learn the meanings of all 2,000 Joyo kanji before my buddies Ron and Jason come to visit on March 20th, but that means learning no less than 500 new characters per week (while reviewing all of the old ones so that I can retain those too).

imageYet somehow I managed to stay on schedule this week, and as a personal reward I decided to take the day off and go visit Fushimi Inari shrine in southeastern Kyoto. And what a pleasant surprise! Just minutes before I was going to leave, Dylan IM’ed me to tell me that he and a bunch of his friends from YHM were also planning to go there today! So we met up and did some exploring together. Pictured left are a few of them doing what Gaijin do best in Japan: break rules and annoy Japanese people…

…I mean take pictures.

imageFushimi Inari was my absolute favorite shrine/temple from the last time I came to Japan, and today’s visit reminded me exactly why. For starters, take a look at this map. Do you see that long snake-path winding up the mountainside? Well, that path is actually thousands and THOUSANDS of torii…

imagelike these. But while the torii are Fushimi Inari’s main claim to fame, it really does have so much more to offer. The group and I decided to explore off the beaten path, discovering along the way countless little sub-shrines and clearings, gardens and cemeteries, and of course incredible overlooks of Kyoto. Because it was a bit overcast the pictures of the view didn’t look quite as awesome as they did in person, but from the top of that mountain you could see clear to Osaka.

imageHere’s a random picture of a big rusty…thing…that we found. OK, I don’t really know what to say about it…but LOOK at it! Isn’t it cool? 🙂

imageWe ended up spending so much time exploring the mountains and bamboo forests behind the shrine that by the time we came out we were in an entirely different neighborhood of Kyoto.

imageBut even so, there’s never a lack of beautiful things to see in this city. Seeing just a few of these trees (my best guess is that they’re plum blossoms, but I really don’t know) has managed to get me just a little bit more hyped for Sakura season.

But wait, when I said beautiful things I wasn’t talking about flowers! What I MEANT was that we saw….

imageNintendo’s corporate headquarters!

Back in 1889 a man named Fusajiro Yamauchi, great grandfather of the present Nintendo president, founded the company for producing hand made playing cards of mitsu-mata tree bark right here in Kyoto. Something tells me that he had no idea it would turn into a billion dollar video game company. Something else tells me that he had no idea what a video game was. Or a TV. Isn’t it interesting, though, that the company has been around for well over a century?

Oh, just one thing I’d like to add. Yesterday I was on the phone with one of my best friends and I mentioned the fact that he NEVER comments on my page. His response was he thought that I didn’t even read them. I DO! And I love every single one of them…so even if you think I don’t want to hear from you, I assure you, I do :)**

  10 Responses to “Fushimi Inari”

  1. Too bad you missed yesterday’s Simpsons espisode. Homer became a minister and started marrying gay people.

    JUSTIN – Guess which main Simpsons character came out?

    -Noz

  2. you are getting really good w/your camera! miss you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  3. Had to share one more thing with you and fellow adherents to your adventure!

    Got on subway this morning.. BAM! There was a naked homeless man sitting on a seat. Everyone else was sitting/standing on the other side of the car. That’s NYC!

    If I had had a camera at the time, it would have been one of those famous tragic photographs that are famous for generations. Oh well.

    -Noz

  4. What?? A GOOD new simpsons episode? To the internet!

  5. first off, I am not ONE of, I am thee. second of all, that place looks friggin amazing! bring me home some of those blossoms!!

  6. Your photos are very good and a pleasure to look at. Please keep posting more and more in your gallery. Thanks. And good luck with your studies.

  7. too thee: you are the one

  8. Thanks Lorra! I definately will…although with these winter skies it’s been tough finding chances for nice “scenery” shots. Come back, sun! 🙂

    Jeff: Haha actually I wasn’t even TALKING about you, it was NOZ who said that he didn’t think I read the comments. But don’t worry, you know I love you both.

    My only question is where, OH where has SHAHIN gone? 😛

  9. Hahaha if you talk to him, you’ll find out where he’s gone and what he’s been up to…

  10. Justin,

    I usually keep my communiques more direct, either via email or phone, but I’ll comment here’s on occasion. I do have to preserve my mysterious personality, you know. I’ve been checking the site as often as I can, and keep the great pictures and videos coming. You know how much of a history, culture, and media fan I am. One last thing, I believe those flowers were CHERRY blossoms, NOT PLUM blossoms. You may be confusing that with when Barney came into Moe’s Tavern all hippified and his Yoko Ono girlfriend ordered “A single plum floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.” Until next time, this is Shahin– OUT.

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