OK! I have planned this for the longest... WHY? The background colour is gonna be RED, so; my clothing cannot be of the same colour. VAIN traveler & fashionista (perasan max disini!)... after much thought for many weeks (yeah! when it comes to the clothing, I plan it in my head for weeks prior to the trip. KID YOU NOT!) Decided, white light dawn overcoat...mind all set, mood jek ada kacau.
Anyways...off we go, 2 venues to be covered today.
1. Fushimi Inari Shrine - to see the plenty redTorii Gate
2. Nara - to see them lovely deer
Off we went... I think overall, Japan is kinda an easy country for tourist, just follow the crowd. Hheheheh.... even the locals do their version of Cuti Cuti Japan. So, jangan harap tak da orang on a weekday; DREAM ON!
We walk pass few locally own shops & restaurant that sells Inari, for those INTERESTED to buy FRIDGE MAGNETS; this is the ONLY place I saw (there might be other places, wallahuallam...) that sells Torii Gate magnet with the word KYOTO on it. But unfortunately only 2-4 shops selling it and it is not a plenty, expensive? YES! It's Y380 - Y450 per piece, so memang beli tuk diri sendiri je ler (exhange rate of 4.2 in Dec 2011). So, remember to grab it when you are here, there's only 2 types and only 1 type with the word Kyoto on it, the other only the red Torri Gate. Most magnets are of this price range or even slightly more.
There's not much for me to say aside it's a climb upwards just like Miley Cyrus song hahhaha....
Excerpt from Wikipedia:
Inari is a popular deity with shrines and Buddhist temples located throughout most of Japan. According to a 1985 survey by the National Association of Shinto Shrines, 32,000 shrines — more than one-third of Shinto shrines in Japan — are dedicated to Inari. This number includes only Shinto shrines with full-time resident priests; if small roadside or field shrines, shrines kept in a home or corporate office, smaller shrines without full-time resident priests, and Buddhist temples were included, the number would increase by at least an order of magnitude.
The entrance to an Inari shrine is usually marked by one or more vermilion torii and some statues of kitsune, which are often adorned with red yodarekake (votive bibs) by worshippers out of respect. This red color has come to be identified with Inari, because of the prevalence of its use among Inari shrines and their torii. The main shrine is the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Fushimi, Kyoto, Japan, where the paths up the shrine hill are marked in this fashion.
Before you enter the temple/shrine compound, remember to "ambil wuduk" dulu... Hehhehe.... kidding!
Anyway, you will notice this cat/fox like figure there ie Kitsune. Kitsune from Wikipedia are as below (pemalasnye kan, but I thought this way would be better *wink*).
Kitsune is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. Foremost among these is the ability to assume human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Foxes and human beings lived close together in ancient Japan; this companionship gave rise to legends about the creatures. Kitsune have become closely associated with Inari, a Shinto kami or spirit, and serve as its messengers. This role has reinforced the fox's supernatural significance. The more tails a kitsune has—they may have as many as nine—the older, wiser, and more powerful it is. Because of their potential power and influence, some people make offerings to them as to a deity.
Chup! Reverse abit... What is Inari right? Since the name is being used in most shrine/temple in Japan. Here you go from Mr. Wikipedia :)
Inari Ōkami is the Japanese kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry and worldly success and one of the principal kami of Shinto. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.
OK! Enough geography and history lesson. Now... food pulak!!
Aku sebatang paku.
Am sure most of you have eaten Inari before in local Japanese Restaurant right? Well.... the food apparently originated from here lar... al-kononnye. How does it look like? Tah dahh... below.
I don't fancy this so much as it is sweet as compared to other Sushi, so; usual I won't opt for this.
The whole distance is about 2hours hike/walk which covers about 4km. Mommy and daddy, remember your kid's stroller yah! As for me, I bet it will be longer, simply because I will STOP EVERYWHERE to take pics plus terhegeh hegeh tak larat! Hahhahha.... Mind you, this is per-way and going uphill, BE WEARY!
So, what I did was walk up till the 2 doors meet and did a U-turn back as I assume all will look the same and I need to ensure I have enough time to cover Nara kan.
We rushed down to go to our next destination... NARA!
From Wikipedia :
Nara Park is a public park located in the city of Nara, Japan, at the foot of Mount Wakakusa, established in 1880. Administratively, the park is under the control of Nara Prefecture. The park is one of the "Places of Scenic Beauty" designated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). The over 1,200 wild sika deer freely roaming around in the park is also under designation of MEXT, classified as a "Natural Monument." While the official size of the park is about 502 ha, the area including the grounds of Tōdai-ji, Kōfuku-ji and Kasuga Shrine, which are either on the edge or surrounded by Nara Park, is as large as 660 ha.
According to local folklore, deer from this area were considered sacred due to a visit from one of the four gods of Kasuga Shrine, Takenomikazuchi-no-mikoto. He was said to have been invited from Kashima, Ibaraki, and appeared on Mt. Mikasa-yama riding a white deer. From that point, the deer were considered divine and sacred by both Kasuga Shrine and Kōfuku-ji.
Killing one of these sacred deer was a capital offense punishable by death up until 1637, the last recorded date of that law having been enforced.
Post World War II the deer were officially stripped of their sacred/divine status, and were instead designated as National Treasures and are protected as such.
Chup! Officially stripped...? Ish! Sedih ler kan...
The journey took us 1 hour and cost us between Y600 - Y690 depending from where you board the train (I will have an entry on the estimated costing, not to worry). This is our longest and most expensive journey to see some sacred deerSSSSS. Luckily there's no entrance fee (the deer forbid them... Hahhahah... kidding still).
As I mentioned in my teaser entry here on the memories of this place, I will let you enjoy the pics instead (apa nak cite, rusa jek kan... ehehhe...).
Once you reaches JR NARA Station, you will see the Nara Tourism Counter, just ask the person in charge there on how to get to the park. They will advice you to take a loop bus that goes to the 3 temples (temple again...) OR you can jejak bertapak there (walk).
Here's the thing, if you decide to walk, it takes about 1km or so of a very pleasant walk (on a lane ie not road - safe!). Thus, for those who have baby as cute as Aqilah, BRING YOUR STROLLER!! Absolutely NO way you will have the energy to carry your cute baby the distance (slightly uphill too!!!) nor make them walk, mendera baby adalah kesalahan besou!
Once you reached the park area which is SUPER DUPER SUPER DUPER GILER HUGE (thus the convenient of baby stroller here), you will realize that ALL the deers are let lose. And strangely, none that I saw, run to the street nor cross the road despite that there's no wall, fence nor gate! Discipline like the rakyat jelata, impress huh!
You can buy the deer-cookies here (don't bring own human food and feed them, we don't know their diet beside we wouldn't want to harm them right?!) and feed them. You know what is crazy? The minute they hear the sound/smell of food, they will come running and SONDOL-ing you for some/more. Comei ok!
Not only that, they are one of those special breed that OWNS a CAR! Hahhahah....
For more pics on my Kyoto trip, please view it HERE.
For more pics on my Tokyo trip, please view it HERE.
Hyperlink credits : Wikipedia.