Another famed Kyoto landmark, Fushimi Inari is an eccentric and exhilarating sight. Literally thousands of bright orange ... More
Fushimi Inari Shrine
Another famed Kyoto landmark, Fushimi Inari is an eccentric and exhilarating sight. Literally thousands of bright orange torii (sacred Shinto gates) line the hillsides creating spectacular, bright tunnels. Established in AD 711, Fushimi Inari is the headquarters of the shrines dedicated to the fox deity inari who was believed to intercede for good harvests. Now modern-day businesses sponsor the building and upkeep of the large wooden torii to ensure continued business success, and they are not cheap. Admission free and it is a good hike to the top.
Our family visited Fushimi Inari last summer on a rainy June day. We hiked up as long as we could - through thousands of the red torii that formed "tunnels" up the hillside. The rain ran in rivers down the stone steps and there were very few visitors around. It was almost as dark as night time because of the cloud cover and the trees surrounding the area.
It was truly one of the most memorable afternoons we spent in Kyoto - and we'll never forget the almost mystical feeling we had as we went through the torii gates (though after awhile we ended up just exhausted from the hike!). It is close to the Inari station and just a couple of stops from the JR Kyoto station. Go early in the day and you can spend hours exploring this temple!
This shrine isn't well advertised, if it wasn't for the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha, I wouldn't have known it was there. I had to see this place on my visit last week! It's as stunning as you seen in the movie and pictures. It's a bit of a hike to the top (I got lost) but stay on the path and you'll do fine (I didn't). It's beautiful!
Definitely visit this jinja - it's not as out of the way as you think - as it's only 2 stops from Kyoto Station on JR line.
The main attraction here is the 4km hike up to the top of the hill behind the jinja. The path is lined with reportedly a thousand torii's which people have donated to the jinja. It's actually quite a site to see these stacked one behind another. Some of these are actually quite old while you can find others that are only a couple of months' old.