Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine (Kyoto)

Fushimi-Ku fukakusa yabunouchi-Cho 68


One of the oldest shrines in Kyoto, the Fushimi Inari Shrine was voted the Top Thing To Do In Kyoto in 2016. Its seemingly endless row of vermillion torii gates is a signature photo spot for tourists and a symbol of Kyoto. The shrine venerates Inari, the Shinto god of rice, who farmers prayed to for a good harvest, and is now popularly worshipped by businessmen who hope for a bountiful year. It is believed that foxes are the messengers of the gods, which explains the many fox statues throughout the grounds of the shrine.

The tori gates straddle a network of mountain trails of around 4km in length leading up to Mount Inari, which stands at 233m. The hike takes around 2 hours, and there are a few restaurants along the way offering Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon, featuring aburaage, or fried tofu, said to be a favorite treat of the fox messengers. Each tori gate represents a donation by an individual or company with the cost starting from 400,000 yen for a small gate and over 1 million for a large gate.

The Fushimi Inari Shrine is the head shrine of some 32,000 sub-shrines. Its origins predate the move of Japan’s capital to Kyoto in 794. Even amongst non-worshippers the shrine is popular for its scenic beauty especially during the autumn when the leaves provide an azure background to the gates.


Fushimi-Ku fukakusa yabunouchi-Cho 68

January - December
Monday - Sunday: 00:00-24:00



Steph Wong

Walking under the torii gates are breathtaking but it's very crowded. If you're looking to take a photo without other visitors in the frame, you'll need to climb higher to get away from the crowd or be very patient, try your luck, and time your photo.

Eri Lin

While the crowds thin out the higher up you climb, if you are short on time, the climb all the way up to the top isn't necessary. There is a nice viewpoint halfway up the mountain, but the "summit" was not particularly impressive.

Also, take advantange that there is no entrance fee to visit during several points of the day!

Jes Jagong

Highly recommend you to visit this shrine. Aside from the bright red Tori gates, the climb up the mountain is definitely part of the experience. It takes at two - three hours to reach the top. It is not an easy climb because it's all stairs.

If you plan to climb to the top, treat this trip as a regular trek. Wear proper shoes as the steps are slippery. Make sure to bring water because the stores are far from each other.


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