The Fushimi Inari Shrine is located in Southern Kyoto, at the western foot of Mt. Inari. There are over 30,000 Inari Shrines throughout Japan. Fushimi Inari is the head shrine and is the primary place of worship for Inari Okami, the guardian god of rice and prosperity.
As you explore the shrine and wander through the grounds, you might notice several fox statues standing like guardians to the Shrine’s facilities. The Fox is said to be a spirit servant to Inari Okami and is able to communicate our wishes to her.
Fushimi Inari is perhaps most known for the thousands of Torii Gates that the line the path up Inari Mountain. These gates have been featured in several Hollywood films – and images of them seem to don the cover of countless guide books.
There are over 10,000 toriis that have been contributed by worshipers, businesses, and individuals throughout Japan. The function of a torii gate is to mark the entrance to an area that is sacred; however, the significance of the these in particular suggests that they are the gateway through which dreams will come true.
The torii gates as well as the Shrine buildings are all painted in the same vermillion orange. Not only is vermillion the color that expresses Inari Okami’s power, it has, for centuries, been used to symbolize the life force of humanity.
If you plan to hike all the way to the top of Mt. Inari, it’ll take about 2 to 3 hours. Along the way are several places to rest, buy a drink and even have lunch, so you won’t need much else beyond a pair of comfortable shoes and a camera.
How do you get there:
If you’re coming from Osaka, you’ll probably want to take the Keihan line and get off at Fushimi Inari Station. From here, it’s just a 10 minute walk across the tracks and up the side entrance of the shrine.
The good thing about this route is that you can stop off along the way and fill up on some of the delicious street food, just before your long hike up the mountain.
If you’re coming from Kyoto, you’ll want to take the JR Train to Inari Station. This is just a mere two stops away from Kyoto Station — The good thing about this route is that, when you leave the station, you’ll immediately exit out onto the main entrance of the shrine.
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Zack Hemsey – Waiting Between Worlds (Instrumental)