Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mt. Fuji "Fujisan" Japan

Tim and I climbed six greulling hours at night from the 5th station to the summit of Mt. Fuji.  I have never in my life endured such a mentally, physically, and spiritually challenging experience in my life.  Hiking through the clouds and looking back at the mezmorizing view of the stars over the clouds.  Having Japanese fellow climbers shouting "push on push on" as the altitude sickness started to grab a hold of me.  And the ROY G BIV colors forming as the sun started to rise as hundreds from all over the world watched in awe as all of us were there for the same unified purpose.  It was a very special moment  that I will always be able to look back on as I continue to live this gift of life!

Tokyo->Luma Daylight->Tokyo

From towering views and delicious sushi to the early mornings of Rappungi and Shabuya, Tokyo elevated our minds and our souls!

Kabukicho i.e. Red Light District

Yoyogi Park


Yellow sunglasses in Tokyo at Night... Hell YEA!

Sushi Ninja

Tim's first time, to say the least he was stoked!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fushimi Inari-Taisha

Fushimi Inari is an important Shinto Shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.

Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794.

Temple Books
after reading another friends blog about a unique book, which is opened and read from rigth to left, that can be obtained at certain temples/shrines throughout Japan, I kept a strong eye-open to find such a special book.  I found it at Kinkaku-ji as well as Kiyomizu-dera and Fushimi Inari-Taisha, where a monk places their traditional stamp and writes in calligraphy over their seal.  It was a beautiful experience and a treasure I will have forever!  

At Fushimi-Inari, where these pictures are taken, I found a monk offering their seal, but told me I had to do two things first.  First, I had to throw a coin into the well, offer a blessing and make a wish, then I had to lift one of two small boulders.  If I felt the rock was light my wish would come true, if heavy there was something in my life that was hindering me.  Then I had to walk back down to the first shrine and be approved for the seal their first.  I did both and when I approached the monk again he grinned, My wish had come true, he pulled out his brush-pen and ink, inscribed his seal and writings and then stood up, walked to the back of where he was sitting came back and said to me "here is a present."  It was this beautiful square white banner that reflected a fish swimming in water.  Who knows, maybe one day I'll have all 33 stamps from all over Japan!