Visiting Fushimi Inari Fox Shrine in Kyoto, Japan
When planning a trip to Kyoto, visiting the distinguished Fushimi Inari fox shrine is one of the sites most people look forward to. The beauty of this shrine spans over a breathtaking 10,000 orange gates, or Torii (鳥居), that envelope a path that winds over 2.5 miles up the Inari mountain.
How To Get To Fushimi Inari Fox Shrine
Fushimi Inari is located in Southern Kyoto just outside of JR Inari Station. From Kyoto Station, you can take the JR Nara Line to Inari Station which is about five minutes and only 150 yen (or free if you have a valid JR Pass). You can also use a few of these apps to help you find the closest train or subway depending on your location.
Address: Japan, 〒612-0882 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Fushimi-ku, Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, 6 8
Cost: Free to visit
Visiting The Shrine
When you first step into the main area of Fushimi Inari, you’ll notice a large graveled lot that is home to a few of the shrine’s buildings that house some of the deities that reside here. You can visit each of these buildings and make an offering if you wish.
There is also an area towards the front entrance where you can purchase good luck charms, ema wooden plaques to write prayers or wishes, and a variety of other small tokens.
When visiting, you’ll notice that on each Torii there is kanji, a style of Japanese writing. On one side of the Torii gates, you’ll see the name of the person or organization that donated it as well as the date that it was donated. The earliest structures of the Fushimi Inari fox shrine are recorded to have been built around 711 A.D. but new ones are being added frequently.
This contrast between the vermillion Torii gates and the forest that surrounds them makes for quite the picturesque setting to behold!
The hike up the path takes roughly two or three hours when walking at a moderate pace. You’ll find many spots to stop and take photos so prepare to spend an ample amount of time here.
When we visited we stopped to talk to some locals who told us of one of the folklore of the shrine. These local ladies told us it is commonly believed that making the journey to the top of the mountain will bring good fortune and longevity of life. You’ll also see many fox images and statues. This is because, Inari, the god of rice, harvest, and business, is a fox.
Being one of the most popular spots in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari will most likely be very crowded. To avoid the crowds it is best to visit on a weekday morning when it opens.
Have you been to Fushimi Inari fox shrine before? If not, do you look forward to visiting this iconic religious monument in Kyoto?