One of the things about going up the mountain at Fushimi Inari Taisha, there are different paths that lead to different areas.
It’s one thing to look at the map and see other shrines and prayer areas but when you walk around, one may be tempted to see what else is off the main path.
This is where you will probably want to make a choice, complete the trip of going up the mountain which can take a person 2-3 hours (I know a person who did it in 45 minutes but she looked at it as a physical Spartan-like challenge and she made it her goal to do it in a certain amount of time) or you go off the main path and see what else is out there. Nevertheless, if you choose to do this and also complete the ascend upward to the top, this will ad several hours.
For me, my curious side wanted to see what was out there off the main path but yet instead of pursuing areas off the main path, circling back. Because I had no idea how far those other paths or where those paths were going to take me.
The photo above is a good example…what happens if I follow the stairpath going up towards that way, which this section is already off the main path?
I decided to head back to the main path where you will see Shin-ike Pond.
According to the Fushimi Inari Taisha website:
Past Shu no Tamagaki is a pond called Shin-ike or Kodamagaike, which reflects the greenery on the mountain. There is a belief that when you are looking for someone who is lost, you clap your hands in front of the pond. Your clapping will echo from the direction where the lost person can be found.
There is a stone prayer area (haisho) jutting into the pond. An otsuka worshiping stone engraved with the deity name Kumataka Okami can be found here.
I will continue the next post about going upward towards the mountain but then making the decision while I was more than halfway up.