Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

Fushimi Inari-taisha Kyoto Temple

The Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine is located in Fushimi-ku in Kyoto, around one hour walk along the river or 20 mins by train from Shijō Street. Shijō Street is the main shopping street in Kyoto which leads to the Yasaka Shrine. There is no way to miss that one.

The shrine is on the base of the Inari mountain which is 233 metres above sea level. The Fushimi Inari-taisha site includes a trail up the Inari mountain which takes around two hours to walk and passes by lots of smaller shrines. The trail is very scenic and much more peaceful compared to the main shrine which generally is overcrowded by tourists.

The earliest parts of the Fushimi Inari-taisha site were built in 711 on a different hill in the south west of Kyoto and then relocated in 816. The main shrine structure was built much later, in 1499. The main gate and the main shrine of the Fushimi Inari-taisha site are located at the bottom of the hill. The inner shrine is located in the middle of the mountain which can be reached by a path through thousands of gates (toriis).

The Torii Path

Once you have passed by the huge shrines at the beginning of the Fushimi Inari-taisha you will eventually walk through the torii path. A torii is a traditional Japanese gate that is usually located at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine. The torii path at the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine is a collection of thousands of torii gates lined up behind each other. Have a look at this blog post to view more photos of the famous torii path.

The Fox Sculptures at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine

Walking through the Fushimi Inari-taisha site you will notice a huge fox sculpture near the stairs leading up to the torii path and various smaller fox figures throughout the trail up the mountain. Foxes are said to be messengers and are often found in Inari shrines.

Inari has been depicted as both male and female and is a popular deity with shrines throughout most of Japan. The most famous depictions of Inari are a young food goddess and an old man carrying rice. Amongst other various depictions, Inari is also often believed to be a fox though there is no one correct depiction of Inari. The preferred depiction and gender differs according to the regional beliefs and traditions.

The worship of the Inari deity is believed to have its origin in the founding of the shrine at the Inari mountain.

Walking Up the Inari Mountain

After passing through the main torii path (you will notice when you are in it!) there will be the option to walk a trail that leads up the Inari mountain. For me this walk was the best part of visiting the Inari shrine. It is such a peaceful walk with so much to discover. I took hundreds of photos. For more information and photos, have a look at this post about the Inari trail.

Around the Entrance of the Fushimi Inari-taisha site

You will find lots of little food stalls on the way from the train station to the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine. They are perfect for getting a little snack before and after your visit. And make sure to buy some water before you start your two-hour walk up and down the Inari mountain!

Guide to Vising the Inari Fushimi Shrine in Kyoto | Temples in Japan

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18 Comments

  1. February 1, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    Wow I’m loving all the colors! What a beautiful place. Definitely need to add it to my list!

  2. February 2, 2017 / 5:03 am

    This is beautiful! No idea how I could have missed this when I was in Kyoto! Then again there a LOT of shrines :)

  3. February 2, 2017 / 11:17 am

    I like visiting shrines. And this one looks very nice. I particularly like the combination of red green and white color that adore it. Will definitely visit it

  4. February 2, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Japan has fascinated me since so many years. The country boasts of some unique quirks, tradition, food the works which can not be found outside of Japan. I attended a Tokyo Wonderland event in New Delhi, India. The event was aimed at promoting tourism to Tokyo before the Olympics 2020. I am going to explore this shrine if I travel to Japan.
    Abhinav Singh recently posted…THE ARTOLOGUE COUPLE TRAVELS TO THE CORNERS OF INDIA AND TURNS WALLS INTO ART!My Profile

  5. February 3, 2017 / 6:19 am

    Japan.. is full of so many landscapes and hidden gems. This Shrine is really worth exploring. I loved the path in your pictures. All picture are so colorful and you too look so beautiful. I will bookmark this post to put it in my to do list.

  6. February 3, 2017 / 6:20 am

    The architecture in Japan is quite something. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to go yet since it is still out of my budget. But I loved reading your experience. You have awesome photos here!

  7. February 3, 2017 / 7:00 am

    Another beautiful post about Japan! This is one of our favorite places in the world and we like to read about other people that enjoy it as much. Your pictures the shrine are amazing and the colors are outstanding!

  8. February 5, 2017 / 2:22 am

    I really love all the pictures of the shrine, torii path, and learning about the details like the foxes who are messengers. The architecture and that red color is really something. When I head to Japan, this is on my list!

  9. Hassan
    February 6, 2017 / 8:52 am

    Japan has never disappointed me. Great pictures and obviously great architecture. I have been to Japan but never got chance to visit such places… but next time definitely.

  10. Sudipto
    February 6, 2017 / 3:55 pm

    I really love your big colourful pictures. But so many of them are slowing down your website and page considerably. This shrine looks so peaceful and serene. What all Japanese food did you try there?

    • Karateandcaviar
      February 6, 2017 / 5:01 pm

      I know, that’s the drawback of so many pictures :( But I have them only on a few posts, so hopefully the readers that want to see more photos will wait patiently :)
      Tried all, most of all Sushi. But so many times we ordered something from the menu (in Japanese) and I still have no idea what the dish was called haha

  11. February 6, 2017 / 10:34 pm

    I’m heading to Fushimi Inari today actually! So this was well timed, haha. I love this place, it’s absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. The mountain path is a MUST, it’s really the heart of the whole area!

  12. February 6, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    The shrine is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. I’d like to see it in person and take the Torii path. The fox sculptures are cool. I didn’t know they had foxes.

  13. February 7, 2017 / 5:42 am

    So I want to go back to Japan and explore the Land of the Rising Sun once more. Or maybe even one more is not enough. This is included in my list. I am excited to walk along the Torii path, too! Oh, what a nice adventure you had!

  14. February 7, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    What luck I am travelling to Japan this summer and Kyoto is a must do on my list. Have done a virtual journey through your blog.

  15. February 7, 2017 / 4:14 pm

    This is a magnificent shrine. In fact, I love all these Japanese shrines. Something very cinematic about their structure. Reminds me of Rashomon.

  16. Dane
    February 9, 2017 / 11:44 pm

    It absolutely blows my mind that something can be constructed in 711 and still be in such amazing condition! The photos are amazing and all the little statues everywhere are incredible!

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