Thursday, 30 June 2016

Kyoto Research Trip - Kamigamo Shrine and Fushimi Inari Shrine

Today was all around fantastic, but now I'm trying to write while I'm exhausted and paying for two days in a row of too much walking.  So this will be short.

I started today at Kamigamo Shrine with one of my friends.  We met up to watch a ceremony called nagoshi no harae  (名越の祓).  It looked like a purification ritual for the first half, then the priests moved into the main shrine building and I had a hard time following what was going on.  It looked like they were passing plates of food, but I couldn't see well.  I will be looking more into what this ceremony is.

My original plan was to continue to follow the Kamo River north, since I was so close to where I left off, but that didn't happen.  For one, my knees and hips are shot from yesterday, and for two, it was threatening rain and I didn't want to get stuck in a downpour two days in a row.

So my friend and I went to Fushimi Inari instead.  It's the famous shrine with all of the gates.

And foxes.

And far too many people.  There was a really cool oku no in off the trail though.  Oku no in are the innermost part of a shrine, apparently where founders and such are enshrined.  It would be interesting to spend more time back there reading the plaques, but it was really hot and full of mosquitoes.  

There's a "waterfall" named after Kobo Daishi, but the waterfall must be long built over.  In the back it's just wet and there is a pipe with water gushing out of it on the ground.  There is a shrine to Kobo Daishi though!

After that we went to Kyoto National Museum.  Bonus, this time they actually let me use my student ID to get the college student discount!  It was really fun to walk around the museum with someone else interested in and knowledgeable about the same kind of stuff I like.

Some of today's highlights:
I fed a sacred horse tiny slices of carrots... from a plate.

I found another bird I can't identify.

And another cormorant (maybe?).

And these little guys may have been the most exciting part of the day.  There were two nests of baby swallows (燕)on the approach to Fushimi Inari.  The parents were zipping around over our heads.  I've been trying to get a picture of a swallow since day 1, but they're so fast and so small all I've gotten are blurs.

They're big enough to fly (they shoved one of their siblings out of the nest right before I took this picture).  Gorgeous birds.

Here's the other nest, because we need to end on more cute.

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