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  4. Fushimi Inari Shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Photo © Paul Vlaar. View all images in our Fushimi Inari Shrine Photo Gallery.
Photo © Edward Faulkner.
Inscriptions on the torii give the names and addresses of the individuals and businesses who donated them. Photo © Brian Jeffery Beggerly.
Kitsune (fox god) with key to the rice granaries. Photo © David Gardiner Garcia.
A Shinto priest performs a ritual at the shrine. Photo © Erik Dunham.
Photo © Brian Jeffery Beggerly.
Barrels of sacred sake. Photo © Brian Jeffery Beggerly.

Fushimi Inari Taisha (Fushimi Inari Shrine) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari, the god of rice, sake, and prosperity. "Fushimi" is simply the location, added to the name to distinguish it from other Inari shrines.

History

One of Kyoto's oldest (founded in 711 AD) and most revered Shinto shrines, Fushimi Inari serves as the headquarters for all the 40,000 shrines dedicated to Inari across Japan.

Originally the god of rice, Inari now governs the modern equivalent: success and prosperity in business. Fushimi Inari Shrine draws thousands of businessmen and tradespeople seeking blessings for their enterprises, especially at the first prayers of the New Year.

What to See

Fushimi Inari is noted for its remarkable sight of some 10,000 small torii (shrine gates) that arch over a long path up the hill behind the shrine. It takes about two hours to walk along the whole trail, and there are nice views of Kyoto from the top.

Donated and inscribed by businesses and individuals thankful for their prosperity, the long tunnel of torii is one of the most iconic visions of Kyoto.

If possible, visit Furshimi Inari near dusk — you'll be much more likely to wander alone through the tunnels of torii in the quiet woods, which is a magical experience as daylight fades.

Foxes are said to be the messengers of Inari, and stern bronze foxes (kitsune) can be seen throughout the shrine. Inari's foxes are generally considered helpful, but they have also been said to bewitch people. The keys that some of them hold in their mouths are for the rice granaries.

Along the hiking trail, small restaurants serve Kitsune Udon ("Fox Udon"), a noodle soup topped with pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), a treat favored by foxes. You can also try Inari sushi, which is fried tofu wrapped around sweetened rice.

Quick Facts on Fushimi Inari Shrine

Site Information
Names:Fushimi Inari Shrine; Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto; Fushimi Inari Taisha
City:Kyoto
State:Kansai
Country:Japan
Categories:Shrines; Catholic Shrines
Faiths:Shinto
Dates:711
Status:active
Visitor and Contact Information
Location:Kyoto, Japan
Coordinates:34.967219° N, 135.773339° E  (view on Google Maps)
Lodging:View hotels near this location
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

Map of Fushimi Inari Shrine

Below is a location map and aerial view of Fushimi Inari Shrine. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.

References

  1. Fodor's Japan, 17th ed.
  2. Fushimi Inari Taisha - Japan-Guide.com
  3. Fushimi Inari Shrine - Yamasa Institute

More Information

Article Info

Title:Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto
Author:Holly Hayes
Last updated:05/14/2010
Permalink:www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/kyoto-fushimi-inari/japan/kyoto-fushimi-inari
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