Saturday, April 29, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Taikodani Inari Jinja (Taikodani Inari Shrine) 太皷谷稲成神社

Visited 25.04.2015 (Sat)

First. Though I have visited Japan multiple times. I have never been to Kyoto. However, I have come across numerous photos depicting the rows of vermilion torii gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷神社), an important Shinto shrine in Kyoto, and I have always wanted to see it for myself. Here at Tsuwano-cho, my dream came true partially at Taikodani Inari Jinja, as it bears some similarities to the former in terms of the long road of vibrant torii gates leading to a shrine.

Background. Taikodani Inari Jinja was founded in 1773 and is named one of Japan's top five inari shrines. It is said that many people made the trip here to pray for business prosperity, huge agricultural harvest and fulfillment of wishes. The two deities which are being worshipped here are Ukanomidama-kami 宇迦の御霊神, a deity in Japanese mythology that is associated with food and agriculture, and Izanaginomikoto 伊弉諾尊, another deity in Japanese mythology is is said to have created the islands of Japan together with with Izanami 伊弉冉.

The first torii of Taikodani Inari Jinja.

Official starting point of the climb uphill.
Rewarding. After a leisure stroll along Tonomachi-dori 殿町通り, we headed towards for Taikodani Inari Jinja as planned. When we reached the first torii after crossing the road junction, I "innocently" thought the shrine should be somewhere nearby. After a couple of minutes walk, we arrived at the first vermilion torii and realised this marks the start of the climb uphill. There are about 1,000 vermilion torii gates forming a winding tunnel all the way from the base of the hill to the shrine. Though the distance is only about 300 m, it can be physically exhausting to overcoming the multiple flight of stairs before reaching the final destination. For course, you can stop every now and then to rest and to capture shots of the torri gates in the meantime. In the pursuit of gaining elevation, I was excited to see a clearer overview of the surrounding natural landscape gradually. Visitors who persevered are eventually rewarded by a panoramic view of Tsuwano-cho at the shrine!


Taikodani Inari Jinja (Taikodani Inari Shrine) 太皷谷稲成神社
〒699-5605 島根県鹿足郡津和野町後田409
Free admission.

How to get there?

(1) By foot. Approx. 30 mins walk from Tsuwano JR Station 津和野駅.

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