Fushimi Inari Taisha,


This post is quite overdue but better late than never ✨
Our trip to Japan was in April 2015, and of all the incredible places we visited and managed to see in our nearly 2-week trip, Fushimi Inari was my favourite of them all.

For the past 3 days, I've been unwell due to food poisoning from a fast food restaurant you would expect to have quite a high standard of hygiene but clearly, they didn't.
It's made me aware of my eating habits/food choices and allowed me to take a step back and evaluate that I must satiate my hunger with much more humble options. Excuses of being too tired to cook have to definitely leave, now..

Inktober was once again a complete failure for me (even worse than last year's three piece record for the whole month), and I didn't get to celebrate Halloween in any shape or form due to either writhing in pain and aches, or being completely passed out while subconsciously hearing the distant melodies of Studio Ghibli piano pieces playing on my laptop.

After what felt like prolonged rest I checked up on my blog to see how long it's been since I updated it, even though I'm still feeling delirious with a splitting migraine (amuse yourself with the mental image of me wearing sunglasses indoors as I write this).

I'd somehow convinced myself that I'd already written and published my post about this beautiful shrine nearby Kyoto, but it was nowhere to be found.
In order to remain seemingly productive, while also lifting my spirits out of what's been an unnecessarily stressful and slightly demoralising past few weeks, I'll live vicariously through my photographs and transport my mind to the peaceful and soothing rainy atmosphere of this magical shrine.

It's such a cliche to say this, and I do apologise for being so blatant about my appreciation for Japanese culture and the animated films and TV shows that I grew up watching/being infatuated with, but there really is something so incredibly special about Japan and its atmosphere.
I felt a reminiscence, a familiarity that somehow I'd never witnessed in person.

I was thinking about this the other day as I grew up with a lot of influences from Japan and Korea from my parents' time living there; Korea was the place I had been waiting to meet, like a relative or a pen-pal, and it felt like a relief to be there in a comforting sort of way, almost like home but not.. quite.
Instead, Japan was the place I had been dreaming to experience.

Tangent, incoming...

There were always these wondrous things I had seen on TV as a child; all of the animated cartoons, Pokemon, Monster Rancher, CardCaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon.
Then all of the videos games; Nintendo has always been my favourite games company since the original GameBoy, GB Color, N64, GBA, GBA SP, GameCube, DS.. and buying the Nintendo Official Magazine issues whenever I could.
I struggled to keep up after the Wii came out (also because NOM discontinued but relaunched under a new team and lost its unique humour that made me love the magazine in the first place), but years later at uni I got a pre-owned Wii and played Okami, which became my favourite game to date.
The video games and cartoons I grew up watching were influential in finding my art style, too, even though now I've definitely lost my way with art as a whole.. but my core personal taste still stems from these nostalgic childhood memories.

Then it was the nature that my Mum talked about; the cherry blossoms, Mt. Fuji, the traditional sweets and cakes (which I could try at the Minamoto Kitchoan confectionery store on London's Piccadilly).
As well as my closest friend from school and our mutual interest in the music and some of the fashion culture
(I admit I never got into the fashion as much as others have, and the music started to lose some appeal for me once I moved to uni, but I still appreciate those happy memories).

All of it contributed to this fascination that is continuously ever changing in which "thing" or aspect interests me the most.
I can say at this moment, I'm most appreciative of the food, the landscapes, the culture and customs, and most importantly the arts.


Anyway, Japan is definitely a place I'm yearning to visit again one day.
So without further ado, here is Fushimi Inari Taisha through my lens!

Cats are such an iconic part of Japan, and it's adorable to see some along your journey to the summit just relaxing and resting in front of an altar or a traveller's bench

The striking burnt-orange, sometimes deep red torii gates of the shrine contrasted brilliantly with the deep greens of the forest, intensified by the atmospheric rainfall and mist covering the view of the town below the summit.

It felt almost comforting to see statues of the shinto foxes, who are magical creatures and messengers of the gods, scattered around the trail to the summit of the shrine as if they were guiding you to your destination and ensuring a safe passage on your journey.
They had a life-likeness in their caricature appearance that almost seemed as though they could spring to life after you turn your back on them.
They also look rather fetching in their little bibs.

. . . . . 

Some of the photos are terribly out of focus due to trying to shoot in the rain, and my auto focus being broken.. I'm considering investing in a new camera and lens set up altogether, so stay tuned.

However I hope you still enjoyed this glimpse into this beautiful shrine


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