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The Walkway of Wishes

On a cliff outside of Nagato City and on the Japan Sea, a local fisherman built a torii gate in the hopes that Shinto kami would provide good fishing. Previously, the fishing had been poor but after he erected the gate, he prospered. Word got out about his success, so a few others followed by building their own torii gates adjacent to his. Word kept spreading. More people kept building and making wishes. After many years, and well into the 21st century, there were 123 red torii gates on the cliff side. Then the local town said “no more.”

Montonosumi Inari Shrine continues to be a popular place, not only because of its beauty, but because it gives visitors a chance to feel the energy of these wishes. While it is no longer allowed to erect a torii gate, just walking through the brightly colored gates creates a sense of hope that one’s wishes can come true.

Torii gates are all over Japan. They mark the entrance to a Shinto shrine and the transition from ordinary life to the sacred. Shrines are typically modest. They provide a place where Shinto spirits (kami) can visit on their travels.

Each gate has a dedication and date. This one says: "Dedication by Takeichi Ueda, Senzaki, Nagato City, Auspicious Day of November 2015."

This is the Shinto shrine at the top of the walkway.

This is the Shinto fox next to the shrine. (The fox is important to Shintoism and figures in the fisherman's story.)

There are a few small shrines erected near the cliff edge. These are two of them. Note the anime characters on the cloth.

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