{travel} November ’16: Fushimi Inari Taisha

Hello! Time for another throwback to November ’16, to that day I went to Fushimi Inari Taisha for like the 9272836428364th time, no okay, just kidding, more like the third or fourth time, hah with a good friend of mine.

Fushimi Inari Taisha is probably one of Japan’s best-known shrines, attracting millions of visitors each year, especially around New Year’s. It is very famous for the thousands of orange and black torii (鳥居) gates that stretch along the trails leading from the bottom to the top of Mount Inari. These torii gates were actually shown in a scene in the movie Memoirs of a Geisha which many of you have probably seen.

This is the famous scene I’m talking about (where are the crazy crowds of tourists huhhh I’m sure they must have already existed during that time period) (From GnomoDesu on Youtube.com)

The shrine is partially named after the god it houses (which is kind of obvious, Simone, so why do you even have to mention that, okay I’m talking to myself, bye)Inari Okami. Inari is short for “ine ni naru” which can be roughly translated to “harvest of rice.” As such, Inari Okami could be considered the god of rice. This deity can bring many other blessings, however, not just that of good harvest. During the Heian period (which stretched from 794 to 1158 – as I already mentioned in one of my previous exchange posts if I remember correctly),

people prayed for things like good matches in marriage. […] Over the years, people also began to pray for business prosperity, prosperity of industries, safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts, a tradition that continues today (Source).

Wow, that was probably the most informative paragraph I’ve ever written, and half of it is a quote. But anyway, moving on: Continue reading

{food} Vegan in Japan [2]: Useful Vocabulary for Grocery Shopping and Eating Out

Bonjour! As I already mentioned in the first part of this little Vegan in Japan “series” (lol), living vegan in Japan can be pretty challenging, especially with regards to food. For some reason, there are so many different animal-derived ingredients in so many different products (that normally don’t even require animal ingredients [example: bread]) that grocery shopping and eating out can often turn into a pretty challenging endeavour … even more so if you cannot read Japanese. Therefore, I thought it might be kind of nice to put together some sort of list of all animal-derived ingredients and their names in Japanese. Hopefully, this will be of some help to any vegans living in or visiting Japan!

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Please excuse these two extremely un-vegan photos, I desperately needed one for this post and these two were the only ones I found that I ever took that are remotely related to grocery shopping, hah.

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{travel} November ’16: Rurikouin

[Wrote the majority of this post at the beginning of March and didn’t finish it until today, oh my god, worst blogger of the year award goes to me, meee, MEEEEEE. Oh and I’m still alive, by the way, more or less, life update post coming soon, or next year, who knows anymore]

I feel like not a whole lot of people know of Rurikouin in Kyoto. Which is actually a bit sad, because this temple is located in a beautiful area and so rich in history, and offers its visitors a different experience with every change in seasons. Rurikouin is only open during certain periods of the year, for so-called special exhibitions, and one such special exhibition period is in fall, during the fall leaf season.

Rurikouin temple is easily accessible from central Kyoto. All it takes is a fifteen-minute train ride on the Eizan Electric Railway from Demachiyanagi station to Yase-Hieizanguchi station, and then another short walk from Yase-Hieizanguchi station to the actual temple. An entrance ticket to the temple is quite expensive, 2000 yen for an adult. But, trust me, it’s more than worth it, and that’s coming from me, who usually never pays to enter temples because I’m not cultured enough and because I don’t have money, hah.

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