Although most Americans in the area know this place as 100 Torii Gates, the official name is Takayama Inari Shrine. It is on the west coast of Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan. We were extremely lucky on the day we went. The weather was perfect and the place was empty. In this case empty was perfect because it was so quiet that we were able to just enjoy the nature and tranquility. As you can see below we took tons of pictures.
Here is the entrance as we were driving up. This is a huge torii gate welcoming us. If you aren't familiar with torii gates these are traditional for Shinto shrines and a common symbol of Japan.
Once inside the parking area we found this horse statue. Behind it is the large torii gate entrance.
Couldn't resist taking a picture of the sign. And of course we did not take any pets home with us! We left everything in it's proper place.
To enter the shrine you must first ascend a decent flight of stairs.
Here is the main shrine area. The property is very large but this was the shrine at the top and was the largest we saw.
Then we climbed down the stairs on the other side and found ourselves in the most peaceful spot on earth. With no one else around and the sound of the frogs and other creatures, I can honestly say this was the most peaceful spot I have ever come across. It was like stepping into another word.
Hard to see, but I am out there on the bridge.
I bet you can see me much better now.
You can see why we call this place 100 Torii Gates.
Lots of lily pads. Of course where there are lily pads there are also tons of frogs!
Tons of torii gates!
This was a peaceful path and fun to walk along.
This was the view at the far end of the torii gates.
Can you spot the torii gates in the distance?
Here I am with Ryan.
Here I am hanging out as we made our way back to the starting point.
One more of me. I was walking slowly because I didn't want to leave!
Frogs all over the place!
Told you there were frogs!
Having a little fun with the camera before we headed out. Hey, we had the place to ourselves so we might as well have a little fun!
After the shrine we went to a nearby mall where I spotted a bagel shop which made for a great lunch. We don't have any place that makes bagels near us...except when I make them at home. I love that they call the asiago cheese bagel a volcano bagel.
On the way home later that night we went into Aomori and found a new Italian restaurant. It was pretty good. Interesting concept. It had a salad bar and some other buffet items and then you could order pizza or pasta. And from what we gathered from the broken English conversation was that with our pasta we could also have pizza. So I think it was all you can eat buffet with one pizza and one pasta per person. Either way just the pasta was enough! It was a good end to a perfect day.
QUESTIONS: Where is your most peaceful spot? Have you ever been to a Shinto shrine? When was the last time you had a public place to yourself?