Fushimi-inari Taisha (Official Site | Wikipedia) is a beautiful shrine just outside Kyoto, Japan, famous for its many red gates (torii). Rain or sun, it’s a gorgeous place to visit and each weather type gives the place a different delightful charm..
Since early Japan, Inari was seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost, though, Inari is the god of rice.
The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines. There’s a small view from the top but it’s mostly hidden by trees.
The beautiful red-orange gates span a stone staircase that climbs the entire mountain. It’s a great, healthy hike up all those stairs so really high heels will probably tire you out. It’s not a real hike or anything, although there is a loop at the top of the mountain that circles through the forest and is definitely worth a look. The stairs alone will take at least an hour, so give yourself some time to properly experience this shrine.
The shrine is just outside the JR Nara Line Inari Station, a 5-minute ride from Kyoto Station. It is a short walk from Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Fushimi-Inari station.
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Fushimi-inari is an iconic Japanese experience. It’s strange that the place is basically a giant dedication to greed and money, but it’s still beautiful and has an ancient charm to it. If you’re visiting the Kansai area or showing people around here, this is a must-do.
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