Fusimi-Inari Taisha Shrine Complex near Kyoto Japan
Japan Japan in Haiku Travel

Japan in Haiku 28: Torii Story

Torii Story

Beyond the gate lies
sacred space. A thousand times.
Shinto mountain shrine.

Sometimes tourism is more than tourism. You forget the admission charges, the vending machines, the crowds and just become part of what you have come to see. I had no idea of the scale, magnificence and spiritual significance of the Fusimi-Inari Taisha Shrine Complex. Outside a big sign tells me it’s a Trip Advisor foreign favourite and I briefly wonder why. In a city packed with shrines; Castle, Palace, Silver Pavilion, how could a few gates compare?

I wander uphill through torii gates for half an hour before I realise that maybe this lot go all the way to heaven. Simple red and black gates, bought by believers, a tunnel to enlightenment. A winding path up a hillside, a moment of contemplation in a month of full on experiences.

The children peel away. For once, I am alone, lost in this vermilion world, on a winding 4km path to peace. I am lost in Japan. At last. And then it’s time to go. Home.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

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About Author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the creative force and chief poet in residence of poetinmotion.org She is available for residencies, as a conference poet and wedding poet. She is also co-founder of The Family Adventure Project and a regular contributor to many online travel communities.

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