Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha was the number one thing on my list of things I wanted to see during my 10-day trip backpacking in Japan and even a deadly 6.1 magnitude earthquake in 2km from me in Osaka was going to stop me from seeing it. This place is actually a collection of shrines and gates spread all over the entire Southeastern mountainside of Kyoto.

It is considered the single most impressive sight to see in all of Kyoto and one of the most popular shrines in all of Japan. The Torii Gates spread out for miles winding through the mountainside with small interconnected shrines throughout. The path starts North of the main entrance and Temple and are accessible at all hours, unlike the Temple which closes after normal business hours.

Fushimi Inari Taisha

It is considered the single most impressive sight to see in all of Kyoto and one of the most popular shrines in all of Japan. The Torii Gates spread out for miles winding through the mountainside with small interconnected shrines throughout. The path starts North of the main entrance and Temple and are accessible at all hours, unlike the Temple which closes after normal business hours. Due to the growing popularity of this place you can expect for there to be hundreds of tourists, mostly Chinese. So if you plan on getting solo pics in the Torii gates it’s going to take a while.

About Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha is known as the God of rice Shrine, you will see many large decorative bags of rice positioned around the head of the shrine. This shrine is believed to grant prosperity to business owners, patrons and merchants.

The shrine sits at the base of Mount Inari and includes many smaller sub-shrines. Every one of the famous torii shrine gates has been donated by an individual or Japanese business in hopes of receiving good luck and fortune. The name of the donor is inscribed in black ink on the back of each gate.

History of Fushimi Inari Taisha

The original shrine was founded in 711 making it one of Kyoto’s most historic landmarks.

The shrine was founded in 711 making it one of Kyoto’s oldest and most historic landmarks. The local folklore behind the origin of the shrine is based around a story of a rice cake which was shot into the air and then transformed into a swan and flew away, when it landed at the peak of the mountain the land there then became very prosperous and abundant in rick growth.

In 942, it was elevated to the highest rank for Shinto shrines and became and object of patronage among Imperial families. The main shrine structure was built in 1499 and is designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. It contains five shrines: a lower shrine, a middle shrine, an upper shrine and auxiliary shrines.

At the shrine’s entrance stands the historically significant Romon (tower) Gate, the shrine’s main gate, which was built in 1589 thanks to donations from samurai warlord and ruler of Japan, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

At the rear of the shrine’s main grounds is the Senbon Torii (thousands of torii gates), the entrance to the torii gate cover a hiking trail. It marks the start of two dense, parallel rows of gates that are the main reason most foreign visitors come to Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Fushimi Inari Taisha Foxes

After a few minutes of visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha you will notice that there are dozens of statues of foxes across the shrine grounds. Why you might ask? Foxes or kitsune in Japanese are regarded as the messengers of the gods much like the deer of Nara Park in Nara. Some of the stone foxes even have keys in their mouths. These are keys to the rice granaries which they protect.

English address:
68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa, Fushimi-ku

Japanese address:
伏見区深草藪之内町68

Fushimi Inari hours:
Dawn to dusk

Admission:
Free

Non-smoking area: Yes

Nearest Transport:
5min walk from Inari Station, JR Nara line
10min walk from Fushimi Inari Station, Keihan line