Fushimi Inari Shrine KYOTO JAPAN

Monday, May 05, 2014

Walk with ChaMike in Japan | Fushimi Inari Shrine Kyoto Japan

A Tunnel of Vermillion Torii Gates

Fushimi Inari Shrine is on the list of the top tourist destinations in Kyoto because of the iconic thousands of vermilion torii gates.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is easy to locate, from the Kyoto Station ride the JR Nara Line and for about 5 minutes you will be at the JR Inari Station, fare costs Y140 (P61). You can see a big vermilion torii gate just outside the station. 

view outside the JR Inari Station

What's good about this shrine is that it is open everyday - yay! Plus it doesn't require any entrance fees- double yay! No wonder it is the number 1 tourist attraction in Kyoto on tripadvisor.com.

Shinto Temple

Of course aside from the no-entrance-fee-and-open-daily perks, tourists like us visit this shrine to explore the famous torii gate tunnel. Fushimi Inari Shrine is said to be the most important shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. The Japanese worship Inari because for them he is the patron of business.

locals ring these bells as part of their prayer ritual

There are foxes everywhere (which I thought were dogs and even cats at first!) they are said to be Inari's messengers which can often be found in Inari Shrines.

Mike with the two foxes ready for their pictures to be taken

At the back of the shrine, we were drawn to the entrance of the torii gate pathway.

Start of the long walk
Came across these two parallel torii gate pathway which is called Senbon Torii or thousands of torii gates.

Senbon Torii

The entire torii gates along the trail are donated by Japanese businessmen (individuals and company). The inscription at the back of each gate is the name and date of the donation. According to my research the cost starts around Y400,000 (P175,000) for a small sized gate and increases for a large sized gate. 

Name and date of the donation

The torii gates are photogenic in every angle so we had all the reason to take pictures with it. (lots of it!)


I love this shot! I have lots
Couple Shot

After passing by the two tunnels we were greeted by a shrine were you can offer a prayer through fox tablets, you can also draw your own version of fox faces.

Prayer on Fox Tablets

But the trail didn't stop from there, it will lead you to a wooden forest going up Mount Inari, which stands 233 meters high.

Calming foresty walk up the mountain trail

The trail goes up and up then ChaMike suddenly felt tired (we've been walking since 8am!) and decided not to go on anymore.

trail goes on and on

It is said that it will take you 2 hours to finish the trail but tourists are not obligated to finish it. Though going up is just easy, we were already press for time as we have to go back to the central for another agenda on our list.

going back

Going back we saw these small torii gates displayed on a side, these tiny gates are donated by small time businessmen who cannot afford the big ones.
Tiny Torii Gates

When we got back I got curious at the drinking area it is said that it's also a ritual cleansing of some sort. Unfortunately I almost choked! So funny how Mike caught my reaction.

that's what I get for being too excited
laughing at myself

Fushimi Inari Shrine should be included on your Kyoto list of attractions especially if it's your first time. The pathway of powerful orange torii gates amidst the peaceful forest is an enthralling site every tourists shouldn't miss.

Opening:        Always open
                       No closing days
Fee:               Free
How to get here: Just outside the JR Inari Station, which is the second stop from Kyoto Station via the JR Nara Line

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