This is a famous check-in place with dark red torii gates that glow in the sky up to the foot of Mount Higashiyama. Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine will be a journey to explore hard to miss when coming to Kyoto, Japan.
Some information about Fushimi Inari Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine also known as Fushimi Inari Taisha, an important Shinto shrine in the south of Kyoto. This place is famous for its thousands of vermilion red torii gates, nestled in the middle of a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Inari Mountain, at 233 meters high and within the grounds of the shrine.
Fushimi Inari is the most important of thousands of Inari shrines – the god of rice, prosperity, business patron, and Sake. Foxes are said to be Inari’s messengers, so when you visit this place you will see a lot of fox statues all over the temple grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of Kyoto’s beautiful architecture temples of ancient origin, before the capital moved to Kyoto in 794.
Fushimi Inari Shrine during the day
The temple is really crowded at 10am, so you should arrive before 7-8am if you want to enjoy some peace. Start the hike early and follow the deserted path that leads to the top of the mountain. You will have more opportunities to take pictures of small temples along the way. The sun always rises very early in Japan, however in winter, it gets dark around 4pm. Getting to the temple early gives you more time to explore your surroundings to the fullest. One big downside to visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine during the day is that you will miss out on the sunset over Kyoto.
Arrive at Fushimi Inari Shrine at night
Another popular option is to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine at night. It’s a hike through dark forests so perhaps not the best option for the faint of heart. Arrive at Fushimi Inari after 10pm in winter and you will find your hike quiet and very relaxing. Bring some flashlights and try to cross the Torii gates. It was an enjoyable experience that you will definitely enjoy.
Explore the Torii Trail and Gate
Aside from visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine for exploring mountain trails, the temple buildings themselves are also fascinating. At the entrance of the temple is the Romon Gate, donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Behind is the main hall of the temple (honden), where visitors should pay homage to the resident deity by making small offerings.
Visit Fushimi Inari Kyoto Shrine behind the main temple grounds is the entrance to a hiking trail with a Torii gate, starting with two dense parallel rows of gates called the Senbon Torii (thousands of Torii gates). The Torii gates along the entire trail are donations made by individuals and companies and you will find the name of the donor, the date of the contribution listed on the back of each gate. Costs start at around 400,000 yen for a small gate and go up to over a million yen for a large gate.