Our next adventure was the Fushimi Hakuseki Shrine in Yokosuka, Japan. This is a shrine that is found up in the jungle behind a farm and requires a bit of a hike and a bit of a climb. I will say this, it was totally worth it. The day we chose to go visit this shrine had a very good chance of rain and it looked like it could come down at any minute. However, we really wanted to visit this location and decided to head over and just go for it.
We piled into the car and made our way over to the neighborhood closest to the shrine. Finding parking turned out to be a bit of a challenge. We also were very thankful for the kindness of strangers throughout the day. At one point, we definitely ended up on a road that was thinner than the car and had to do a multi-point turn around. Another point, we were definitely going the wrong way on a one-way street… which was thankfully empty and a taxi cab driver politely pointed us in the right direction. We eventually found parking, which was a bit of a walk from the entrance to the shrine.
Shortly after getting out of the car, it began to rain. Thankfully, the rain came straight down and it wasn’t windy like other times it rained on this trip. However, it did come down and a few drops grew to a steady rain that came down throughout the adventure. It didn’t downpour but it was definitely coming down. Finally we started to reach the hills that was on the edge of town and there was a small gate that led to a ramp and stairs. To the left of this on the side of a hill, a farmer could be seen working on his garden. He had a hat on and waved at us as we started to enter the path. He waved some more to get our attention and then informed us it would be raining. He was clearly concerned about us hiking up the hill in the rain. However, we waved and thanked him and continued on our hike.
As we entered the path that led to a LOT of stairs. There was a sign warning us to watch out for wild boar. We did not see a wild boar. It would have been interesting to say the least. We made our way up into the jungle and could hear the rain hitting the canopy. While under most of the trees there really wasn’t a ton of rain hitting us. After climbing up multiple stairways that zig zagged back and forth, we finally came into a clearing at the top of a hill. There we found a farm that was nestled into the forest. It was very provincial and charming. It also meant an opening in the forest and more rain hitting us. I was very glad to learn that my jacket repelled water! The path became quite thin as it wound around the outside of this farm/large garden. Up higher on the hill, a Torii Gate could be seen at the entrance to the shrine. We continued to follow the path, and more stairs (quite a few more stairs), and then more path/trail to the entrance of the shrine and the first gate.
This particular shrine was extra beautiful. The first gate overlooked the valley and the farm. There were quite a few gates that made their way up the hill toward the shrine. We definitely stopped to take multiple pictures and the rain made it even more beautiful! We finally started making our way through the gates. They went straight for quite awhile before turning as it went up the hill. About two-thirds of the way up, there was a small break and stairs that led to more Torii Gates. At the end of these there was another beautiful view of the valley to the left and an Inari Shrine. An Inari Shrine is popular deity foxes, rice, household wellbeing, business prosperity, and general prosperity. This particular shrine was very quaint, albeit a bit aged. With the rain coming down, it really was beautiful and the perfect way to spend a day.
As the rain continued to come down, we took a few more photos before making our way back down the hill and to the car. Throughout the entire hike, we only encountered the old farmer as we were entering the jungle/forest. The whole experience was peaceful and beautiful. The Torii Gates were the same. The whole adventure was absolutely lovely and made for a perfect morning in Japan. It was definitely one of my favorite places I have visited in Japan and I’d love to go back someday.
What do you think of this adventure in Japan? What do you think of the Torii Gates and this shrine? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!