The famous Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is one of the top places where people want to visit when coming to Japan. It is the head shrine of the Inari shrines in Japan.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto city; it is located a bit further away from the main sightseeing areas of Kyoto. The last time we visited, we stopped by this shrine after visiting Uji area, including the famous Byodoin Temple. Both of the locations are located on the south side of central Kyoto and Fushimi Inari Taisha is on the way from Uji city to central Kyoto, so it would be a good route when visiting.
This shrine was first built in year 711. As the head shrine of all the inari shrines in Japan, this shrine has the most visitors for the new year worship in the Kinki region, it also has the top numbers of visitors among all shrines in Japan as well.
The spectacular main gate you will see at Fushimi Inari Taisha is designated as a national treasure of Japan.
At the front gate you will see two statues of foxes on each side of the entrance.
Inari Okami’s messengers are known to be foxes (Kitsune, きつね), and mainly known as white foxes, so you would see them everywhere around Japan since there are more than 30 thousand Inari shrines all over the country. You would also see masks of the white foxes at festivals in Japan, it is clear to see how the Inari Okami is familiar for all Japanese people.
Inari Okami is known to bring blessings of good business, good harvest, smooth birth, healing of diseases, and good outcomes from studies. The original blessings were mainly for good harvest, but over the years it has changed so now you can pray at Fushimi Inari Taisha for many different things 😆
Before seeing the big torii gates, you’ll see many small toriis hanging around~
These are the special ema of Fushimi Inari Taisha. Each one is 800 JPY, you can buy one and write down your wishes for the Inari Okami to help your wish come true.
Continue walking into the shrine to see the famous thousand torii gates.
From the map you can see how big Fushimi Inari Taisha is! To walk up all the way to the top, it is about 4 km and will take about 2 hours!!
After passing by the main hall of Fushimi Inari Taisha, we can finally see some huge torii gates waiting for us to pass through.
After passing by the huge torii gates, you’ll see the starting point of the thousand torii gates’ tunnels.
Since it is a popular sightseeing place, you’ll probably see all these people whenever you visit…but people do recommend visiting early in the morning so you can avoid the crowds.
How and why was this magnificent tunnel of thousands torii created?
The place where the toriis are set up is said to be close to where the god descend to when coming to the people, it is also the entrance of the mountain. The thousand torii gates’ tunnel connects the human world to the world where the gods live. And the torii gates were started in Edo period to Meiji period; it was built for the followers to easily go and pray to their gods.
And the reason for building a tunnel is very straight forward, it means the wishes will “pass through” which means they will come true.
There are actually around 10 thousand torii gates right now at Fushimi Inari Taisha. A lot of the torii gates have been there for many many years so the gates are getting old and may break; it is said that there are at least 3 torii gates being fixed or renewed every day!
The torii gates’ tunnel continues all the way up to the mountain, but on that day, we only went to part of it instead of walking all the way; especialy because the sun is setting and it would not be as nice walking in the dark 😅
There are numerous small shrines in the mountain, so there are many more to see and look around at Fushimi Inari Taisha~ if you have time, do look around and pray at the shrines that you would like to. For example the shrines for healing headaches, back pains, and much more!
And of course! There are several shops selling food and products for you to bring home with you as well!
Why not try some rice crackers after the “work out” of walking through the thousand toriis’ tunnel? 😋
Information for Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
- 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City, 612-0882
- Located at Inari Station (稲荷駅), JR Nara Line (奈良線)
- Fushimi Inari Station (伏見稲荷駅), Keihan Main Line (京阪本線), 5 minute on foot
- Opening hours (Open throughout the year)
- Open 24 hours, open all year.
- Shops at the shrine: 07:00～18:00
- Free to worship
- Time needed
- About 1.5 – 3 hours (Including climbing all the way up the mountain and taking photos, shopping time)
- Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社)(English, Chinese, and Korean version available)
- All Images: TabiScarp