Mountain of the Fire Deity

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In Kyoto’s west, towering above the small village of Kiyotaki, lies Atago-san, Kyoto city’s tallest peak  at 924 meters. A holy mountain for over a thousand years, once a year pilgrims come here to hike to the top during the night. By doing so, one shows reverence to the fire diety and gains 1,000 days […]

Nobody Else

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Visitors often ask me how to find somewhere free of people and still worth seeing. I invariably answer: earn it. To become popular, an attraction must have a strong natural draw and easy accessibility. Remove accessibility and the crowds vanish magically. After all, the view from Mount Everest is simply breathtaking, but you won’t find […]

G7 summit 2016

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The G7 summit of 2016 is to be held at Ise-Shima close to the original sacred Shinto shrines of Japan, (Ise) Jingu. “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday Japan will host next year’s Group of Seven summit of major industrialized countries in an area of central Japan close to a grand Shinto shrine…”  (link to […]

Saio misogi purification ceremony

Misogi purification ceremony 2015

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The Aoi festival held on the 15th of May every year in Kyoto is drawing near. Before the actual date of the festival, many preparations and pre-ceremonies has to be done. One of these is the misogi purification ceremony that was held today. In this ceremony, the “Saio-dai” purifies her mind and body by ceremoniously […]

Red colour of the torii gate

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If you google the word “Torii”, most of the torii gates appearing are indeed red, vermillion or orange. But why are they coated in exactly these colours? Finding a clear answer to our question is not easy, but according to the Fushimi Inari Shrine (the one with all the gates) located in Kyoto, the colour […]