This is probably one of the first pictures of Japan (日本) you will find on the web. A seemingly endless number of these red gates, all lined up to a path. Let’s talk about it.
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari (稲荷) Taisha) is one of the most important Shinto Shrines dedicated to the Inari, the Shinto god of rice.
Before hurrying up to those amazing hiking trails filled with torii gates, you first come to the main shrine buildings beforehand. These are beautiful as well, so don’t just rush past them.
There is a giant torii gate right at the entrance which was donated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1589.
Step forward to the Honden (Main Hall) and pay your respect by offering a small amount of money.
Over 1000 gates to go through
After passing the main shrine buildings, you will get to the entrance of the hiking trails that you saw so many pictures from.
There are two parallel rows of these gates, and either leads up the same mountain. Along the way, you can find smaller shrines and restaurants that serve a special kind of sushi (寿司) as well as Udon (うどん) for example.
The hike takes about 2-3 hours total for both ways. Most people don’t go all the way up though, as the density of the gates decreases after about 40 minutes of walking along the path.
By this point, you will have reached Yotsutsuji intersection which is about half of the whole trail. From here, a nice view of Kyoto (京都) can be enjoyed.
The mountain Inari at which this shrine is built totals to around 230 meters. Continuing past this intersection will give you an even better view.
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Tips for visiting Fushimi Inari
Be warned though that it can be pretty exhausting hiking up the whole way, especially in summer. Bring good walking shoes and sufficient water supplies, you will need it!
There is no need to climb up any further than you want or are able to. You can return at any point if you wish.
As you can probably tell from the many pictures you can find online, this place is very popular. I recommend coming here as early as possible, say around 7am in the morning, to really enjoy it to the fullest. Anything much later than that and the place gets swarmed.
Alternatively, I have heard that there are less people in the late afternoon as well.
Definitely come here! There is a reason it is so popular, because it is absolutely breathtaking! Nowhere else in Japan or anywhere can you experience this kind of hiking trail. A must-see for every hiking fan.
But even if you’re normally not into hiking, make Fushimi Inari your exception. I promise you it’s worth it!
Below, I’ll give you a hint on how to get there!
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Opening Hours & Admission Fee
Now here comes the best part:
- Fushimi Inari is open all day every day
- There are no closing days throughout the year
- There is no entrance fee!
From Kyoto Station (京都駅), take the JR Nara Line to Inari Station (稲荷駅) for 5 minutes and 140 Yen (1,08€/$1.28; exchange rate as of July 2018). The shrine is located just outside the station.
If you come from Northern Kyoto for example, you can take the Keihan Main Line to Fushimi Inari Station and get there within a short walk as well.
Have fun and see you next time!