One of the most important shrines from Matsumoto, the Jorinji Shrine, is located just 5 minutes walking distance from the JR Matsumoto train station. But when I visited, right next to it, my attention was drawn by a smaller, but really beautiful Inari Shrine, one of the most beautiful I’ve seen until now.
Inari Ōkami is one of the most important kami in the Shinto religion, the god of rice, fertility, agriculture, foxes, industry and success. On each side of the entrance, you can see two splendid statues of kitsune (foxes), a male and a female, colored in white, a color of good omen. Kitsune are messengers of Inari and, at the same time, guardians against bad spirits. An interesting fact is that one of them (the one on the right) is always with its mouth open, pronouncing “A", while the other is with its mouth closed, pronouncing “UM", together saying the mystical syllable “AUM“.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: