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Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine

by Benjamin Kerns

Jan 16, 2020

ID 51535471 © Pa2011 | Dreamstime.com

Reviews / Entertainment

The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine in Kyoto is one of Japan’s greatest architectural wonders. The climb through more than 4,000 Torii gates to the top is a feat attempted by more than 3 million people a year. The vibrant colors and majestic landscape make it a must when visiting the city.

 

The shrine at the foot of Fushimi Inari is beautiful in its own right, if not somewhat simplistic compared to many in Kyoto. Once past the entrance, the trail leading up is filled with dozens of sights. The Torii gates themselves are donations by local businesses to the god of rice, asking for good luck and prosperity. In some stretches the gates are so tightly packed the sun barely shines through. The oldest gates date back as far as the 8th century.

The trail is also dotted with magnificent Inari foxes. The sculptures range in size from small to larger than a human, and are often found holding scrolls or keys in their mouths. The fox is thought to be a messenger of Inari, and highly revered. Along the four-kilometer walk you’ll pass by restaurants serving traditional Inari sushi and kitsune udon, if you’re feeling peckish.

 

At the top you’re finally rewarded with another shrine, much more beautiful than the one below. That, paired with an incredible view over Kyoto, makes it more than worth the trip.

 

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