Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fushimi Inari Shrine 伏見稲荷大社 @Kyoto

Some places are meant to be visited again, for in each time, a different experience awaits. It may be the travel companion, the seasons, or even the local people one might meet along the way. In my case for Fushimi Inari Taisha (Shrine), the difference was night and day. 

Keihan Line

My journey started by taking Keihan Main Line to Fushimi Inari (伏見稲荷) Station as opposed to the previous Inari Station of JR Line. Sitting on the upholstered seats, I somehow began to understand the obsession of Tetsudo Fan (鉄道ファン, Rail Fan/Enthusiast) has towards their national trains; as if each carries their own identities from the past, it offers a trip down memory lane, 80s, if not 70s.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Station itself is hard to be missed; bold red pillars with Fushimi Inari wordings in Kanji (Chinese characters) all over the station while Kitsune (fox), the messenger of Shinto God of Rice welcomes its guest in sitting position. Upon exiting the station, the walk that was supposed to be less than 10 minutes made longer and pleasurable as we feasted along the way, from Kitsune Udon, Inari Sushi, Yakitori (chicken skewer) to Kyozuan’s reversible tofu ice-cream.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Geisha

To bump into not one but two Maiko was pure serendipity. I couldn’t help but to stare at the detailed embroidery along with colorful presentation on their kimono, the black-lacquered okobo, the hair accessories and the neckline until they went out of sight.

Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Stern bronze foxes (Kitsune) can be seen throughout the shrine, in which some of them hold the key to rice granaries. Representing male and female, they usually come in pairs; one on the left while the other on the right.

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha
As Inari Okami, Shinto God of Rice now governs the modern equivalent of harvesting which is success and prosperity in business. The shrine draws thousands of businessmen seeking blessing, and in thankful for their prosperity, donation were made in the form of torii gates inscribed with their name and date on the back of the gate. The amount starts from 175 thousands yen for a small gate to 1.3 million yen for a big one. To date, the long tunnel of Senbon Torii (千本鳥居, Thousands of Torii Gates) is one of the most remarkable and iconic visions of Kyoto.

Avoid visiting these gates during midday would be the wise thing to do as they would reflect harsh sunlight from the orange-colored surface, turning anyone into a carrot (in photos).

Fushimi Inari Shrine
Instead of the usual small wooden plaques on which worshippers write their wishes or prayers, Fushimi Inari Taisha selling Ema (絵馬) in the form of their iconic torii gates. The Ema will then be left hanging up at the shrine, where the gods receive them.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社
京都市伏見区深草薮之内町68番地
〒612-0882
TEL (075) 641-7331
FAX (075) 642-2153

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Feasting at Home

FoodPanda Delivery

On rare occasion do I get to take a break from my hectic schedule, and these are the days that I treasure most. To leave from the comfort of my home sweet home is totally out of the question, for it is the only place where leaving my hair unkempt, wearing a loose t-shirt while sitting on the floor legs wide open seems perfectly okay.

However there is one and only problem. Setting its own feed-me alarm, my groaning stomach would always come between me and my dearest drama. To cook an instant noodle takes up 5 mins the max, but the aftermath of washing pot and dishes is tedious. Plus, I would like to reward myself something more than just Maggie mee.

My usual list of home delivery options tend to get boring hence it was time to try something new. The name FoodPanda (http://www.foodpanda.my/) sounds familiar but I am a total newbie to its service. Apps downloaded, delivery area filtered, and I was left with only 3 fast food restaurants. After 5 mins of struggling between the options, order has been made with Cubes Pizza.

5 mins later this lady from FoodPanda called where we went through a negotiation and I had to compromise. No soup, no thin crust, and no round-shape pizza (odd enough). We waited an hour (as stated in the delivery time) before the food arrived.

Having ordered a bit from everything, it sure looks like someone is throwing a party here. Buy 1 free 1 pizza (6” inch) for RM19.80 (Pizza Vienesse and Pizza Quattro Formaggi, the Four Cheese Pizza), Fresh Garden Salad for RM7.80, BBQ Chicken Wings for RM11.80, Onion Ring for RM5.80 and Pasto With Fresh Basil Pasta for RM12.80, the total bill came up to RM72.80. No tax, no delivery fee. Oh, they were kind enough to replace 1 missing pair of chicken wings with 1 box of nuggets.

The food came hot which matters a lot to me. Also, I am experienced enough not to expect crispy fried stuff from delivery as they tend to get soggy but Cubes Pizza managed to surprise me. My favorite of all would have to be the fingers licking good BBQ Chicken Wings.

Such a satisfactory meal! Now back to my drama series.
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