Miniature straw sandals with handwritten messages bedeck a statue of Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, at Tanukidani Fudoin Temple in north-eastern Kyoto. In olden days, pilgrims would leave their worn out sandals as offerings at the temples they visited. They represent victory over spiritual challenges.
Tanukidani Fudoin is also the place where Kyotoites take their new cars to have them blessed by a mountain priest. But that’s another story.