We ventured from sunny Miyajima inland to sunny Tsuwano. Tsuwano is the site of the Taikodani Inari Shrine, one of the most important shrines devoted to the Inari, god of grain and protected by the spirit of the Fox. I wanted to see Tsuwano after seeing photos of the gorgeous main shrine there, with its enormous rice rope hanging across the front.
One walks up a hill, past a 1000 Torii gates, to the magnificent front gate of the shrine. It is mid-mountain and the views are spectacular. We saw monks performing rituals inside the temple. The day was lovely and bright.
We had gotten into town the afternoon before and wandered about, finding the Catholic Church still standing, where 22 people were martyred for their faith.
And there were the town's famous carp, swimming in the canals...put there during WW2 just in case they would be needed to feed the people. Now the people feed them. We bought fish food and tried feeding them, but they are very slow and if the food gets behind them, they just don't have any speed to turn.
There were interesting bronze statues of men in crane costumes, doing some sort of dance...or maybe it was combat...who knew?
At dinner in our minshuku (inn with Japanese style toilets!), we met the most interesting man. He was half-Japanese and half-French, and we invited to join us for dinner. He was raised in France, but had come to Japan most summers growing up. He is doing a 2-year stint working in Tokyo. He gave us some great insights into the Japanese character and could answer questions that we hadn't found anyone else to ask. This was a crazy fun dinner.
Tomorrow, moving on to Fukuoka...