The most famous place in Japan is not something you would ever want to miss!
I visited Fushimi Inari Taisha in April, 2017. It was a beautiful sunny day when I planned to visit Nara which is almost 2 hours from Kyoto main station, Spending half day in Nara I took a train back to Kyoto and got off at Fushimi Inari station which is 2 mins (walking) away from Inari. You can take Nara line from Kyoto and Nara station to reach here.
Fushimi Inari is the most important and famous shrine which is dedicated to “Inari”, Inari is the God of rice. The gate behind the big shrine is the “main hall”. The main shrine sits at the base of the mountain, but visitors comes to mainly visit the trails of small shrines which goes all the way up to the mountain. Each of these small shrines are donated by Japans businessman as they worship Inari as goddess of business.
Kitsune are the two foxes you see on both the sides, This foxes are the messengers and holds mostly keys in there mouth. The key is for the rice granary. These foxes usually comes in pair of male and female. You will also find hundreds of them on your way up the mountain.
These are small shrines which you can buy from there shop which is located at the entrance as a souvenir, The shrines you see in the picture below is hand written by the visitors writing there wishes and putting forward in front of the god. Make sure you buy it while you go up as the shop shuts at around 6 p.m.
The small shrines are divides the path into two for easy access as there are hundreds of visitors visiting the shrine every day, In total there are about 32,000 shrines. It is 4kms long and takes about 2 hours to walk. Don’t worry if you are alone, you will find lots of people walking with you. I found a Solo traveller just like me and she took some amazing pictures of me on the way up.
There are smaller tori I saw on both the sides while walking which is also beautifully placed, even these Tori are donated by people. Name of the donor and date is written on each Shrine.
When I started walking uphill there were very few people, as visitors prefer to visit it in the morning, but I was very excited to see the sunset from the top. Trust me, its spectacular and totally worth the climb. I set there for almost 2 hours and witnessed the most beautiful sunset. Slowly the sun was going down and Kyoto’s night light started shining bright.
You can come here at anytime as the shrine is open 24 hours, if you love watching sunrise you can start at 3:30 a.m from the base to rice at the top at 6:00 a.m. Make sure you visit it when its sunny for better pictures and non slippery trails. the weather forecast is pretty accurate all over Japan.
My journey through these thousand gates was amazing, I loved each and everything about it and am planning to visit Japan soon till then I will be posting more about all the places I have already been. You can follow me on Instagram for more updates.