Torii Gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine

Even though I had seen photos of Fushimi Inari before, I had no idea what a treat we were in for. We have seen so many amazing places in Kyoto but Fushimi Inari is extraordinary. Just on the outskirts of Kyoto and right next to Inari Station starts an amazing 4km walk. Thousands of orange torii gates criss-cross the mountain and line the way up to Fushimi Inari Shrine – dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, sake and business.

The torri are donated by companies and individuals wishing to receive Inari’s blessing. Prices for torri, which were displayed at several places, went from a minimum of 175,000yen (2,200usd) up to 1,302,000yen.

Kitsune (spirit fox – Inari messengers). There are countless stone foxes statues everywhere along the trail.

Even Ema at Fushimi Inari are shaped as fox heads.

Stunning, seemingly endless amounts of torii gates. Truly magical. I loved the way the light from the setting sun played between them.

View from the side.

Almost at the top, another great view over Kyoto. There was a lot of climbing in hot weather, but very rewarding.

Every gate is inscribed on the side facing up the mountain. Written in beautiful Kanji calligraphy are the names of donors.

In the shops at the bottom of Innari hill you can purchase miniature torii gates and place them next to one of the numerous shrines along the way.

That’s what people call sun protection. In 30+ Celsius degrees..

This place went on my list of places to go back to next time we’re in Kyoto. Out of all the things we saw this time this was the highlight of our stay in Kyoto. Would love to see it very early in the morning and at sunset when it is lit with lanterns/lamps.

Looking at the pictures you would assume that hardly anyone was there but it was incredibly busy. The trail is very long, however, and as soon as we left the start (where everyone was waiting to take photos without people), we were often completely alone.

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