Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most famous of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari across Japan. Inari is the Shinto god of rice, and foxes are thought to be his messengers. Therefore, many fox statues can be found at Inari shrines.
Fushimi Inari Shrine is also famous for the countless torii gates, offerings by worshippers, that cover the hiking trails of Inarisan, the wooded mountain behind the shrine's main buildings. It takes about two hours to walk along the whole trail.
Fushimi Inari is the head of all Inari shrines, which is the god of rice and commerce, both of which are very important in Japan. The famous torii gates lined up all over the mountainside were donated by various companies in Japan and they are written on the outside of the gates.
You'll often find fox statues at inari shrines throughout the nation. In Shintoism, foxes are believed to be messengers, particularly for Inari, although foxes have importance in Japanese culture outside of Shintoism, as well. During the Heian Period, Fushimi Inari Shrine was considered to be one of the top shrines in Japan and the Imperial Court made offerings here.
The Fushimi area is famous for Inari-zushi. If you want to try it, be aware that there is a small restaurant halfway up the mountainside that offers authentic Inari-zushi much cheaper than the shops at the bottom, and it also offers a great view of the torii gates!
Entrance is free.
This shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Across Japan, you can find several thousands of shrines for Inari, but Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most famous of all due to its amazing orange torii gates. It takes about 2 hours to walk along the whole trail marked by hundreds of these which are offerings by the worshippers. Foxes are the messengers of Inari and you can find many fox statues in Inari shrines. To our surprise we came across many cats in this beautiful shrine. The shrine is always open and the admission is free. To reach Inari, just take JR Nara Train from Kyoto and get off at second stop. In 10 minutes you will find yourself walking through the orange torii gates.
This Shrine is a head Shrine of Inari (Inari is the God of business).
It has thousands of Torii lining up from the base up to some of the smaller Shrines on Inari mountain.
There are also statues of Kitsune (Fox) which is regarded as God's messenger everywhere in the Shrine.
It is said that the two-storey entry gate was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
The Fushima Inari Shrine was founded in the 8th Century and is the head shrne of some 30,000 Inari Shrines in Japan.
Easy to get to from Kyoto Station ( see below) .
The shrne is composed of a nunber of builidng at the base folllowed by a 4 km tunnel/trail up the mountain side
A walk through the red tori gates is quite unique. The gates have been donated by companies, local governments ,etc.
Budget 2 hours for a slow walk through the whole compllex. Although Japan can get hot in August the mountain trees provide shade and this is a good place to cool off.
Open 24 hours a day, free and not crowded.
I think everybody who go to Kyoto should visit this place.
The Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine is dedicated to the God of rice and sake in the 8th century, behind the shrine you will see unending path of over 5000 vibrant orange torii gates and dozens of statues of foxes. The fox is considered the messenger of Inari, the god of grain foods and the stone foxes are often referred to as Inari. The key often seen in the fox's mouth is for the rice granary. On an incidental note, the Japanese traditionally see the fox as a sacred, somewhat mysterious figure capable of "possessing" humans the favored point of entry is under the fingernails.
A walk around the upper precincts is a pleasant day hike. It also makes for a delightfully eerie stroll in the late afternoon and early evening, when the various graveyards and miniature shrines along the path take on a mysterious air.
I personally like this Shrine. Built in 711 to enshrine the God of grains, the entire path is about 4 km long and it is lined with Torii gates. To complete the entire path, it'll take about 2 hours.
Make sure you have brought enough water and have gone to washroom before embarking it... :)
One of my favourite and most unique places in Japan.
Can you imagine a "tunnel" created by lining up one torii gate after another? Well, this is where you can see it for yourself! All brightly coloured orange, and with different "tunnels" to choose to enter, it's like going through a maze. This was featured in the movie "Memoirs of a geisha".
This is one of the most unique experiences in Japan. You have to walk through/under gate after gate (each one between a few inches to metres apart... the bigger they are the further apart) from the bottom of a hill to the top.
This is THE ONE shrine that you just have to visit if you're in kyoto. Why? Coz it's not yet another shrine. What's unique about this place is the thousand tori gates that lined the hill. We walked for like 1.5hrs to the lookout point and it was only one third of the walk. You're just walking through underneath all those red gates in the forest on and on forever. It's a calming and peaceful activity to do. When I was there, I saw lot more Japanese than tourists coming here, although I dunno why.
The fox is the guardian of this shrine. Apparently, the tori gates are given by businessmen who prayed at this shrine and were later on successful, so this is their way of offerings.
There is a tree along the way with a small altar in the forest - supposedly you walk one round around the tree and passing under its raised root and you'll be blessed with happiness.
Located outside of Kyoto but accessible by public bus, the Fushimi Inri Temple is a great Buddhist temple to visit, especially in the Summer. The temple has lots of red torii gates and statutes all around.
My favorite part of this temple is that the corridors and rooms are very very cool inside. Even in the height of Summer these rooms are cool, almost like they are air-conditioned. The engineering design is just genius. You will be impressed.
You need about 90 minutes here.
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