Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is arguably the most famous Shinto shrine in Japan, known for its thousands of red torii gates. It is located in the Fushimi district of southern Kyoto, and its main buildings lie at the base of a mountain. However, the shrine actually extends deep into the mountain, and it is the sloping walking trails that lead through the forest and through the prominent vermillion Shinto gates that attract most visitors.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is dedicated to Inari, the deity of rice. Inari is also associated with foxes, so the entirety of the shrine is dotted with stone fox statues. Donating to the shrine is also said to bring good fortune, leading many Japanese companies and individuals to make monetary pledges to the shrine, in return receiving a torii gate engraved with their name on it erected on site.
In addition to the vermilion torii gates, the shrine also boasts many other attractions: the main sanctuary is decorated with glittering ornaments and also designated as an Important Cultural Property, and the roumon tower gate is said to have been built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi himself. A tour of the entire mountainous grounds is around 4 kilometers, so visitors should make sure to allow plenty of time and wear clothes that are comfortable for walking.
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5 out of 5 stars
I don't know who decided to put so many Torii gates in a row, but it was a great idea. One of the most recognisable and photogenic tourist attractions in the world, this site is just pleasant to look at and walk through. Beware of the tourist hordes that always get in your pictures and are here any time of the year. If you want to avoid them come much earlier with the first rays of sun. Alternatively go slightly higher up the hill where there are less people as most of them seem to lack the stamina to finish the hike up the hill. Fun fact: the torii gates are payed for by businesses or influential rich people for good luck and fortune. The one who pays decides the writing on the gates, so I saw one which said Guest House in English. Anyways. great spot and I'm sure you were planning to go anyways.