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Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Taisha is Kyoto's most popular Shinto Shrine. With thousands of Torii gates and beautiful mountain trails, it attracts millions of pilgrims and tourists annually.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

This famous Shinto Shrine was established in 711 AD and it is dedicated to the Shinto God of Rice - Inari. The Shrine is at the base of Inari Mountain (233 meters) which you can climb following a trail of Torii gates.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Opening times and admission

The Shrine is open 24/7.

Admission is free.

How to get there:

Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, 612-0882, Japan

From Kyoto Station, it's a 5-minute journey on the Nara Line to Inari Station (2 stops, 150 Yen)

Reaching the summit takes around 2 to 3 hours, but you can turn around at any point if you don't have time to reach the top.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

You will see many fox statues scattered throughout the shrine, as foxes are considered Inari's messengers. At some of the restaurants on Inari Mountain, you will find Kitsune Udon (Fox Udon) which contains sheets of fried tofu - which is believed to be the foxes' favourite food.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto map

Once you go past the shrine buildings, you will see the Senbon Torii (thousands of Torii) - two parallel rows of gates, marking the beginning of the trail of Torii gates (see picture above).

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Walking underneath them is a unique experience, especially on a sunny day when you can see the bright vermillion paint clearer. My first visit (a few years before) was later in the day, and I couldn't fully appreciate how amazing everything looked. The atmosphere was enchanting towards sunset and it made me want to go back and explore some more.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

As you walk up the mountain you will find quite a few smaller shrines with smaller Torii Gates as well as stone Torii.

Small Disclaimer * I managed to take these pictures where it looks empty because I was there bright and early and every once in a while waited a few minutes for everyone to move along. It is pretty busy most of the time, so please plan accordingly.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Just before the T- junction you can see the Shin-Ike Pond, which seems fine in daylight, but the first time I saw it was late evening and it looked a bit surreal after ascending for a good 40 minutes.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Past the pond, you will find a small open space which offers good views of Kyoto. There are a few benches there where you can catch your breath and enjoy the view.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

From this spot, you have two trails available to reach the summit. If you want to explore everything you can ascend through one and descend through the other.

map of Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

As you ascend, there will be fewer vermillion Torii Gates. I found it to be worth the climb and would recommend completing the trail.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

If you want to have a less stressful experience I would recommend visiting this highly impressive Shrine either very early in the morning or towards the evening as it can get incredibly crowded.

It's moderately challenging to complete the hike. It can take 1.5 to 2 hours to do the full loop but if you stop to catch your breath and take copious amounts of pictures it will be closer to 2 to 3 hours.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

There are a few restaurants and places to buy souvenirs along the way.

There are also toilets (see either of the maps) up until the middle of the trail.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

As you descend the trail you can see the inscriptions written on the back of the Torii - which mark the date of donation and the donor's name for each gate.

If you're lucky and the weather is nice, you will encounter a few cute kitties, some friendlier than others (most of them probably too tired from all the attention they receive daily), along with a few signs of 'Do not feed the Cats'.

Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

As you exit the trail you will be highly tempted by all the food stalls just outside the shrine. Everything smells incredible and I can tell you from personal experience that the takoyaki there is excellent.

Overall I cannot recommend this shrine enough. It was on my 'Must See' list on both occasions of being in Kyoto and I can honestly tell you it's already on my list for next time.

fushimi inari taisha, kyoto

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I hope life is treating you well.

Take care.

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