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Shinto Shrine News

Fushimi Inari Shrine — Protector of rice and sake in Kyoto, Japan Special

Kyoto - Fushimi Inari Taisha, a Shinto Shrine located on the foothills of a mountain in Kyoto, is dedicated to the Inari spirit protecting agricultural production; it is famous for its thousands of red-orange torii gates connecting several religious buildings.

Todai-ji — The monumental Buddhist temple of Nara, Japan Special

Nara - The Todai-ji Buddhist complex of Nara, Japan, consists of several buildings of which the largest one, an enormous wooden structure known as Great Buddha Hall houses the seated 15-metre high statue of Vairocana, the largest bronze Buddha image in Japan.

Photo Essay: Kasuga Shrine — Three thousand lanterns of faith Special

Nara - The Kasuga Grand Shrine is one of the most important Shinto Shrines in Japan. The paths leading to the shrine and the grounds within the complex have thousands of stone and bronze lanterns conveying a feeling of beautiful harmony and religious mysticism.
 

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This is the entrance to the path of the thousands of torii gates that go up the Inari Mountain. In s...
This is the entrance to the path of the thousands of torii gates that go up the Inari Mountain. In some sections the tunnel of red torii gates runs in parallel.
Beautiful  large bronze lanterns stand in front of the Main Hall of Kasuga Shrine. Note the relief i...
Beautiful, large bronze lanterns stand in front of the Main Hall of Kasuga Shrine. Note the relief images of "sacred" deer on the base of the lanterns.
Near the entrance to the Shrine one can buy  a  Onikuji  for ¥200. The Onikuji is a small piece of ...
Near the entrance to the Shrine one can buy a "Onikuji" for ¥200. The Onikuji is a small piece of paper, in the language of one's choice, where one's fortune is written. People tie the piece of paper to the twig of a tree to either promote good fortune or negate unfavourable predictions.
The Fujinaminoya. A hall in the inner section of  Kasuga Shrine with an astounding collection of bra...
The Fujinaminoya. A hall in the inner section of Kasuga Shrine with an astounding collection of brass and bronze lanterns. These lanterns remain lit continuously.
When the stone lanterns are lit  the side openings are partially covered with paper to extend the bu...
When the stone lanterns are lit, the side openings are partially covered with paper to extend the burn time of the candles.
The torii gates are placed in close proximity and have inscriptions in Kanji (Japanese characters) i...
The torii gates are placed in close proximity and have inscriptions in Kanji (Japanese characters) indicating the name of the donor. The Shrine is open until dusk, thus there are beautiful lanterns to provide illumination for visitors.
A recently placed lantern stands out among several older lamps. Most buildings  fences and gates in ...
A recently placed lantern stands out among several older lamps. Most buildings, fences and gates in a Shinto Shrine are painted orange-red (vermilion) and black.
Wooden tablets with the shape of a fox head known as “Ema” can also be purchased for a small cha...
Wooden tablets with the shape of a fox head known as “Ema” can also be purchased for a small charge. Worshipers can draw the face of the fox, write their wish in the reverse of the tablet and hang it in special racks.
The Middle Gate and entrance to the Main Hall. In front of this gate there are several special lante...
The Middle Gate and entrance to the Main Hall. In front of this gate there are several special lanterns (red curved tops) described as Omiya-style lanterns.
Most lanterns in the Inner Section of Kasuga Grand Shrine have similar shape  but different design o...
Most lanterns in the Inner Section of Kasuga Grand Shrine have similar shape, but different design on the side panels.
A large grey torii gate announces the proximity of the entrance to Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine in Ky...
A large grey torii gate announces the proximity of the entrance to Fushimi Inari Shinto Shrine in Kyoto, Japan.
The Minamimon (South Gate). This is the main entrance to the shrine complex. Since the 8th Century t...
The Minamimon (South Gate). This is the main entrance to the shrine complex. Since the 8th Century the structures are renovated every 20 years, according to Shinto tradition.
Lanterns on the way to Kasuga Shrine. Since nature is the focus of the Shinto religion  Shinto shrin...
Lanterns on the way to Kasuga Shrine. Since nature is the focus of the Shinto religion, Shinto shrines are frequently located at hillside forests or near natural environments.
Kasuga Grand Shrine  Nara. The  Ninai Tea Room  is located next to the entrance to the Shrine’s Bo...
Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara. The "Ninai Tea Room" is located next to the entrance to the Shrine’s Botanical Garden.
Figurines of the “beckoning cat”  also known as lucky cat  or fortune cat (known in Japan as “...
Figurines of the “beckoning cat”, also known as lucky cat, or fortune cat (known in Japan as “'maneki-neko”), are sold to the faithful in shops outside Fushimi Inari. Maneki-nekos are a common Japanese lucky charm, which can bring benefits to the owner. The figurine is usually made of ceramic, with a decoration around the neck, adorned with coins or food items, and holding up a paw. White cats are for good luck, black cats for good health, and gold cats bring monetary wealth.
View of the  Utsushidono  building. At least 1000 brass and bronze lanterns hang from the structures...
View of the "Utsushidono" building. At least 1000 brass and bronze lanterns hang from the structures in the inner section of the Kasuga Grand Shrine.
Several red-painted structures in the grounds of Fushimi Inari are dedicated to the sale of small to...
Several red-painted structures in the grounds of Fushimi Inari are dedicated to the sale of small torii gates, talismans, good-luck charms, and fox-shaped wish tablets.
The Temizuya. While clearing of the soul takes place during the walk along the path to the Shrine  p...
The Temizuya. While clearing of the soul takes place during the walk along the path to the Shrine, purification of the body occurs at the Temizuya, a water fountain and basin at the entrance to the shrine where worshipers wash their hands using the small wooden ladles.
Those who cannot afford to donate a large torii gate but still wish to worship the kami  can purchas...
Those who cannot afford to donate a large torii gate but still wish to worship the kami, can purchase miniature torii gates and place them in red-painted racks.
The inscriptions showing the name of individuals  families  or businesses that donated each torii ga...
The inscriptions showing the name of individuals, families, or businesses that donated each torii gate is in the opposite side of the torii and can be seen in the way back from the hill.

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