Uji & Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Japan

Phoenix Hall Byodo-in Temple Japan
Phoenix Hall at Byodo-in Temple, Japan

Uji & Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Japan (10/15/2009) 

We took an amazing day trip outside of Kyoto to visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Torri Gates Fushimi-Inari Shrine Japan
Torri Gatesat Fushimi-Inari Shrine - Japan
First, we went to the almost unbelievable (certainly mystical) Fushimi-Inari Shrine where there is a 2 ½ mile long path winding through the woods enclosed with over 10,000 large red torri gates, each 15 feet tall! (see photos). Repeat: 10,000 - Glorious! 

Japanese Children Walking Torri Gates Fushimi-Inari Shrine
Japanese Children Walking the Torri Gates
at Fushimi-Inari Shrine - Japan
Founded 13 centuries ago, the Fushimi-Inari Shinto Shrine is dedicated to success and prosperity and merchants. Companies have for centuries donated funds to build the 10,000 torri gates. Fushimi-Inari Shrine is the main shrine for some 30,000 Inari shrines across Japan.
Japanese Lunch Uji Japan
Japanese Lunch - Uji, Japan

Guided by our Goodwill guide, Megimi Satake, we returned to the train to go to Uji, a small older Japanese city famous for the 950-year-old Byodo-in Buddhist Temple

Traditional Japanese Home Uji Japan
Traditional Japanese Home - Uji, Japan
The Japanese revere the  Byodo-in Buddhist Temple so much they put its image on the back of the 10-yen coin. Byodo-in Buddhist Temple houses several Japanese national treasures (i.e. famous statue of Amida (Buddha), 52 11th-century Bodhisattvas, and one of the 3 most famous bells in Japan).

School Children Uji Japan
School Children - Uji, Japan
Also located at the Byodo-in Buddhist Temple is the wonderful Phoenix Hall building - one of the last remaining original examples of the graceful Heina-period architecture and it resembles the phoenix bird (see photos). We also crossed one of the oldest stone bridges in Japan to visit Ujigami-jinga Shrine. Not much to look at but really cool when you learn that it is the oldest still standing shrine in Japan built in 794.

Great travel tip while visiting Japan... An organization called Goodwill Guides from the Japan National Tourism Organization offers free of charge very good volunteer guides to show assist your visits to many places in Japan. You should check this out.

Please also see our 10 other blog posts for wonderful Japan:

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