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Motonosumi Inari Shrine

Motonosumi Inari Shrine

Motonosumi Inari Shrine is located in western Japan, far from the rest of the world. The nearest city, 80 kilometres away, is Yamaguchi. Never heard of it? It’s also the capital of the prefecture of the same name 🙂 No, it’s not very touristy. Otherwise, 160 kilometres away, is Fukuoka; 200 kilometres away, Hiroshima. There shouldn’t be so much as a cat here!

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I go there with my parents to watch the sunset. Surprise, surprise: around thirty cars queuing for a space in the small parking lot. I find a secluded spot a kilometre from the entrance to hide the car, in cheeky rascal mood. Don’t want to miss this sunset!

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My obsession with torii is satiated: 123 of them stand here, snaking gracefully along the reef. We’re captivated by the beauty of the site! The sea is beautiful, the torii blazing red, the sky fabulous. My father performs the biglemoi (energy dance …).

But don’t you particularly notice the freshness of the site?

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There’s a good reason. This shrine is recent! It only dates back to 1955 …

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… when a white fox appeared to a local fisherman, promising him the earth if he erected this shrine. No mention of these famous torii at the time.

Indeed, the torii were built during the last renovation, between 1987 and 1997, by a solitary workman! A colossal effort but a touristic stroke of genius, no doubt about that 🙂

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Isn’t the result just perfect?

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As for me, I just wish that all the humans could be replaced by deer, or better still by foxes. Oh, if only I had a magic wand.

Of course, we don’t visit a shrine just for the pleasure of gazing upon it, do we? Those who want their wildest dreams to come true have to try and throw their offerings (small coins, not fruit and veg!) into the little box you can see at the top of the torii below. Someone’s just having a go.

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Motonosumi Inari Shrine

We don’t catch the sunset, but the view from the top of the shrine is so sublime that I admire the changing colours from there. I can’t get enough of it.

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This was the starting point for an incredible two-week trip with my parents, which they’ll never forget. And me neither!

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If you are a torii fan like me, then you might be interested in some of my earlier articles: the 1st day of the year at Orai Shrine: Ocean Gateway, my getaway to Fushimi Inari Shrine at Night, or even the torii among the Azaleas of Nezu Shrine.

Who Am I

I am Jordy Meow, a French photographer living in Japan. I explore discover offbeat and lesser known places in Japan. Wish to see more, or to help me? Here is my Patreon.

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