Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, at the base of a mountain named Inari, the Fushimi Inari Taisha is the shrine of the kami Inari. Kami, or spirits that are hidden from this world, are considered manifestations of musubi, the inter-connecting energy of the universe, and Inari is the Shinto god of rice, but more broadly also agriculture, industry and general prosperity.

The shrine’s primary attractions are its many mountain trails, the Romon Gate, donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the main hall (honden), where visitors pay respect to the deity, and the two dense, parallel rows of gates called the Senbon Torii (“thousands of torii gates”). Each gate is donated by individuals or companies, and the donator’s name and the date of the donation are inscribed on the back. There are also many statues of foxes on the grounds, as foxes are thought to be the messengers of Inari.

Visitors can hike to the summit of Inari mountain. While the overall hike takes about 2-3 hours, the Yotsutsuji intersection, where some nice views of Kyoto can be enjoyed, is only about a 30-45 minute hike. Most hikers only venture this far, as the trail does not offer much variation beyond this point.


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