We discovered the Sasuke Inari Shrine (佐助稲荷神社) by accident while walking around in Kamakura. A set of bright red torii gates lead up a hill into a shrine full of statues of foxes and fox dwellings with families.
In feudal Japan, a hidden village (隠れ里 or Kakurezato) is a remote settlement far from prying eyes, hard to access, and easy to defend. Legend says these villages were often inhabited by ninja.
The Sasuke Inari Shrine is apparently located next to one of these hidden villages, so it’s fortuitous that we discovered it by accident! This shrine was reportedly created by the first shogun of Kamakura, Minamoto no Yoritomo. According to historians, the hidden village located next to the shrine was the dwelling of a group of ninjas that were sometimes called upon to protect the Kamakura shogunate.
The shrine itself is beautiful. The entrance is marked by a long stone stairway lined with red flags bearing Sasuke Inari’s name. The path unfolds under many red torii gates, whose feet are surrounded by small ceramic statues of foxes.
On the top, the shrine is nestled in a dim forest which gives it an otherworldly appearance. On the day I visited, it was also slightly misty which added to the eerie atmosphere. Next to the shrine is an entire “village” of miniature fox statues and their moss covered stone dwellings. It was like stumbling into a fairyland, or something out of a Studio Ghibli movie. I particularly liked the statue that depict a fox family – so cute!
I would rate this place as one of the most magical places I have ever been to.
Shibuya is a major commercial and retail hub, but also famous for 3 things: Shibuya crossing (the world’s busiest pedestrian crossing), Hachiko the loyal dog, and Shibuya 109 (a fashion mecca for young girls).
Kamakura is a small town popular with tourists because of attractions such as the Hasedera temple located on a hill with great views of the town, the Great Buddha bronze statue and other temples and shrines.
Huis Ten Bosch is a gigantic theme park in Sasebo (near Nagasaki) that is intended to be a mini version of Netherlands, including famous buildings such as the Huis Ten Bosch palace, Stadhuis and the Domtoren.
Kurashiki has a preserved canal area that dates back to the Edo Period, when the city served as an important rice distribution center. In fact, “Kurashiki” roughly translates to “town of storehouses” in reference to the rice storehouses.
Chris Tham is a co-founder of Visual Voyager Pty Ltd, the Principal Voigtländer Ambassador for Mainline Photographics and a Workshop Instructor for Mainline Photo Academy.
She brings over 35 years of experience as a photographer to her role, starting with a Yashica rangefinder belonging to her dad, joining the Photography Club in school, and developing her own photos.
More recently, Chris has been taking photos during her travels, and as a result has experienced some of the most interesting places in the world.
Chris focuses on nature, street, and urban architecture subjects in her photography.