It is almost the end of 2012 and a few days ago I visited "The Black Gate Market" in Nipponbashi, Osaka. There were a lot of people looking for the best bargains to, end the year and ring in the new, in style. This market is quite colorful, there are a variety of shops and it's usually very noisy. Have a happy New-Year!
The Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社 Yasaka-jinja), once called Gion Shrine, is a Shinto shrine, located between the popular Gion District and Higashiyama District. Initial construction on the Shrine began in 656. The Shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines; and in 991, Emperor Ichijō added three more shrines to Murakami's list. Three years later in 994, Ichijō refined the scope of that composite list by adding Umenomiya Shrine and Gion Shrine.
Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines. Since in early Japan Inari was seen as the patron of business, each of the Torii is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost though, Inari is the god of rice. Merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. Donated torii lining footpaths are part of the scenic view.