Fushimi Inari is a shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of Rice. The shrine is comprised of thousands of tori gates which you can walk under as you follow the mountain path leading to Mount Inari’s sacred forest. The Fushimi Inari shrine dates back to before 794 before Japan’s capital was Kyoto and has been maintained for hundreds of years for the world to appreciate the astounding combination of black and red torii gates. Surrounding some of the torri gates, you will also notice fox statues around Fushimi Inari as foxes were said to be Inari’s messengers. Many of the torii gates throughout the shrine have been donated by individuals and companies who believe will be brought luck from the shrine. The Fushimi Inari shrine is undoubtable the most visited shrine in Kyoto so be sure to visit early.
As you start hiking through Mount Inari’s mountain trails, you will notice the shrine gets less and less crowded as people turn back. The early sections of the path have the highest density of torii gets which provide those all-important photo opportunities. After 30 minutes of travelling through the mountain trails you will reach the Yotsutsuji intersection which makes an excellent pit stop for you to catch your breath. From the Yotsutsuji intersection you are rewarded with a view over Kyoto. Several restaurants and vending machines can be found throughout the shrine’s mountain trails for that all important energy boost as you power through your ascent to the top. You will also notice maps at key intersections to show you your currently position on Mount Inari and to help you decide which trail to follow next.
Visit the Fushimi Inari shrine by taking the JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station to JR Inari Station where you will find the shrine directly opposite the station. Admission to the shrine is free and the shrine is open all day all year around.