Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine in Japan
- Location: Kuromachi, Fushimi, Kyoto
- Entrance fee: Free
- Opening hours: 7:00-18:30 / 8:30-16:30
- Tel: +81-075-641-7331
- Internet site: http://inari.jp
The most popular tourist attraction for foreign tourists is Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine in Kyoto. According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, the world's largest travel community and comment site, Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine was ranked first in the “Japan's most popular tourist destinations for foreigners” in 2014. It is dedicated to blessing the business and the gods of harvest. Every first day of the month, it is full of people to pray here. It is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto.
History of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine
Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, located in Fushimi-ku Kyoto, is said to have been built near Nara period(708-715). It is the main shrine of of nearly 30,000 sub-shrines in Japan.
The shrine has an area of about 870,000 square meters, about 22 times that of Hanshin Koshien Stadium. In the new annual visits each year, it attracts about 2.7 million people to visit. It is the most popular shrine with the largest number of worshippers in Kansai.
How to visit Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine?
Go out from JR Inari Station, there is the entrance of Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, where the big torii donated by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1589 locate. Behind, it is the shrine's main hall and other buildings. In the shrine, you will see a variety of fox stone statues, because the fox is regarded as the messenger of the gods of Inari-taisha Shrine.
In the hand washing place next to the main hall, follow the steps to clear your hands, then go to the main hall to clap your hands and pray for a wish. The theme of the prayer is best related to wealth and business. You can ask for a sign for 100 yen, or you can buy a praying card to write a blessing. The fox face-shaped praying card is a feature here. The fox-shaped amulet is also a popular souvenir.
Most popular scarlet Senbon torii
After visiting the main building, behind the main hall is the entrance to the Senbon torii. Hundreds of red toriis form a passage leading to the top of Inari Mountain with dozens of fox statues on both sides of the passage. Exploring the mountain passage of the Senbon torii is the main purpose of most foreign tourists coming to Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine. The whole journey is about 4 kilometers. It takes about 2-3 hours to walk up.
►Why Senbon torii is so popular with foreigners?
The reason why Fushimi Inari Taisha is deeply loved by foreign tourists is mainly because the endless scenery of the scarlet red Senbon torii is in Japanese style. The scarlet red has released a powerful shock, which forms a sharp contrast with the surrounding green scenery. It is said that red is a color that can compete with demon. The material for making this vermilion pigment is mercury. It has been used as a preservative for wood since ancient times. Unlike other shrines in Kyoto, there is no visit fee, which means that visitors can visit for free. This is also an important factor for its popularity. In addition, Inari Mountain, where Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is located, is a good place for mountaineering tours. It is attractive for European and American Hiking enthusiasts. This is why it is famous among foreigners.
It is said that Fushimi Inari Taisha has more than 10,000 toriis. This originated from a custom - when the wish is fulfilled, people will worship a torii to the shrine. This custom was popularized in the Edo period. The torii along the way is donated by individual or company, and the name of the donor and the date of the donation can be seen on the back of each torii. According to the size of the torii, the price of donation is not equal, the smallest is about 200,000 yen, and the largest is more than 1 million yen.
Continue to go up for about 30-45 minutes, you will find that the number of torii is gradually reduced. Walk to the middle of the road called four-way intersection, you can overlook the scenery of Kyoto. The scene of night is also very unique. Many tourists will turn around and go down the mountain from here, because there is not much surprise in going up. However, if you insist on climbing to the top of the mountain, you will see a small shrine where you can draw lots for free.
How to get to Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine?
- a. Take the JR Nara Line and get off at Inari Station and walk for 5 minutes.
- b. Take the Kyoto Main Line and get off at Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine Station and walk for 5 minutes.