“It was around here.”
“There it is.” Nancy exclaims and points toward the next takeoff.
Tomo makes a sharp turn into the parking lot. There, standing peacefully without a bother in the world, are Nancys shoes.
Me and Tomo, one of my best Japanese mates, had decided to go on a roadtrip together. Tomo is from the Hiroshima area, but hasn’t actually been around the area much. The goal of the day was Motonoinarijinja, a shrine on cliff that reaches out into the Japanese sea.
Of all the Shinto shrines in Japan, over one third are believed to be devoted to Inari. Inari is the kami (a sort of spirit or deity) of rice, fertility and financial prosperity. Inari shrines can usually be identified by having fox statues lined up to the altar or around the shrine, as well as the vermillion red toori-gate (sometimes multiple) leading up to the shrine. The most known is the main shrine in Kyoto, known for having thousands of toori-gates lining the path to the shrine.
The Motonoinarijinja doesn’t have thousands of toori-gates, but 123, which is quite enough together with the view of the sea. In fact, when passing by a beach in Nagato on our way, the clear water pretty much forced us to stop for a swim.
Upon reaching the shrine, we discovered that Nancys shoes had stayed on the beach for sunbathing. After a quick discussion between us, we decided to buy a lucky charm from the shrine to prevent more things from getting lost. It apparently worked, since the shoes where still there on our way back.