Temples & Shrines: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari Shrine 伏見稲荷大社
- One of Japan's best known shrines.
- Located in southeast Kyoto.
- A World Heritage Site.
- Famed for its many torii gates.
- A Kyoto must see.
- Setting for The Last Samurai.
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is famous for its thousands (over 10,000) of closely-spaced orange torii gates that wind over the hills of Inariyama beyond the entrance to the shrine.
Inari shrines honor the patron deities of agriculture and business, ensuring a constant stream of worshippers and the individual torii are donated by merchants hoping to get ahead in business and replaced every 10 years. The black kanji lettering on each torii indicates the name of the donating company and is a subtle means of advertising!
You will notice dozens of small statues around the shrine of the fox (kitsune) - the messenger of Inari.
The Inari is thought to be the protector of grains, in particular rice and thus sake. In Japan, that meant wealth. Even today the rich, and officials from companies, come to pay their respects.
Fushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its kilometers of vermillion torii gates that form an almost continuous tunnel
Fushimi Inari Shrine was founded in 711 by the Hata family and its principal deity is Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto - the goddess of rice and food. The main shrine building, the Go-Honden dates from 1499. The Romon Gate at the complex was built in 1589 by the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
One of the most visited sites in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari is the head shrine for the more than 30,000 other Inari shrines located across Japan. Fushimi Inari pre-dates the founding of Kyoto as the then capital of Japan in 794.
On the approach street to the main entrance are stalls selling among other things barbecued sparrow and a delicacy called inari-zushi - fried tofu and sweetened sushi. Fushimi ningyo are colorful, hand-painted clay dolls and good luck charms also on sale at the shrine.
Haiden and a statue of the fox kitsune at Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of Kyoto's must-see Shinto shrines and can be combined with a visito to the historic sake breweries in the area
A diffused light glows through the massed ranks of torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari station (Keihan Line) or JR Inari station from Kyoto station.
Tel: 075 641 7331
68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.
Go by bicycle from Sanjusangendo to Fushimi Inari.
A trip to Fushimi-Inari could be combined with visiting Fushimi-Momoyama Castle and the Gekkeikan Sake Museum. Tofukuji Temple is also on the Keihan Line a two stops back towards Kyoto and one stop on the JR Nara Line. South of Fushimi Inari are the minor temples of Sekihoji, Hotoji and the Fujinomori Shrine.
Map of Fushimi Inari Shrine
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