Fushimi Inari, 4/8/2017
From Kyoto we took the train to Fushimi Inari Shrine and it only took about 30 minutes to get there.
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates.
The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 meters (764 ft.) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.
Fushimi Inari is the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice.
Inari was originally and remains primarily the kami of rice and agriculture, but merchants and manufacturers also worship Inari as the patron of business Each of Fushimi Inari-taisha's roughly thousand torii was donated by a Japanese business.
Standing at the entrance of Fushimi Inari
It was raining but that did not stop people to come and visit the site.
This is the first entrance and there are a lot of people.
At the shrine's entrance stands the Romon Gate, which was donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Behind stands the shrine's main hall (honden) where visitors should pay respect to the resident deity by making a small offering.
Taking turn to get inside the Torii gates.
The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate.
Inari, the Shinto god of rice and foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds.
The hike to the summit of the mountain and back takes about 2-3 hours, however, visitors are free to walk just as far as they wish before turning back. Along the way, there are multiple smaller shrines with stacks of miniature torii gates that were donated by visitors with smaller budgets.
This area has a lot of small shrines and miniature torii gates.
There are also a few restaurants along the way, which offer locally themed dishes such as Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon ("Fox Udon"), both featuring pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), said to be a favorite food of foxes.
These torii gates are really massive.
Along the way, there are multiple smaller shrines with stacks of miniature torii gates that were donated by visitors with smaller budgets.
As you go up higher there is a small lake and this spot is popular for people to stop and take a picture.
Ema for sale.
Ema are wooden plaques upon which one can write a prayer or wish, which are then hung up on the shrine wall as an offering. Fushimi Inari is famous for its fox-shaped ema, on which visitors often draw faces in addition to their wish!
View of Kyoto from above.
We are still going up higher...
Lots of mature trees...
A quick picture with the view of Kyoto in the background.
View of Kyoto
We are actually pretty high above and we are looking down below.
We are where the red dot is (on the far left) and at this level, you can already see the whole city of Kyoto.
We decided not to go all the way up as the view from here is good enough and it was also hot and humid which makes it pretty uncomfortable.
We are starting our descend back.
Barely anybody going down...
Next...Last day in Japan