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Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Shrine

Located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto Prefecture in Japan, Fushimi Inari Taisha / Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of Inari. It serves as the general headquarters of all 30,000+ shrines dedicated to Inari. It is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto. It can be found st the base of Mount Inari and is one of the most visited places in Kyoto.
The earliest structures of Fushimi Inari Shrine were built in 711 on Inariyama hill in the southwestern part of Kyoto. The shrine was then relocated in 816 upon the request of the monk Kukai. The main shrine, however, was built sometime in 1499. Fushimi Inari Shrine became an object of imperial patronage during the early Heian period. Inari, as you may know, is the god of rice and aside from that the patron of business. Because of that, The shrine is frequented by businessmen wishing for a success in their business. Some of these businessmen (those who became successful) donated hundreds (probably thousands) torii to Fushimi Inari Taisha. These orange traditional Japanese gates serve as gates for sacred places.
The Romon gate as seen from the Ni-no-Torii
The Romon gate... Toyotomi Hideyoshi's donation for the recovery of his sick mother.


Nai-haiden (the inner hall of worship)
Gai-haiden (the outer hall of worship)
Posing at the shrine vicinity
Fushimi Inari Taisha was the first place that we have visited when we went on a tour of Kyoto Prefecture. I was amazed by the numbers of tourists visiting the shrine. The first time I saw this number of people flocking to one place was in Universal Studios Japan.
Inside the pathway lined up with torii gates
Run Ella! Run!
Posing at the torii gates
Posing with my daughter
What I like about Fushimi Inari Taisha is the sight of the hundreds of torii gates lined up in the compound. It gives a dramatic effect to the pictures that I take and also makes the place unique compared to the other historical places in Kyoto. I also enjoy taking pictures of the kitsune (fox) statues (They are the guardians of the shrine) scattered around the vicinity. 
A Komainu or guardian dog holding what seems to be a sickle (but this one is a fox)
Another Komainu holding a fruit
One of the entrances/exits of the vicinity
The fox heads are used to write down prayers or wishes
Given a chance I'd like to hike up to the peak of Mt. Inari. In that way, I'd complete my tour of the shrine and take a picture of Kyoto's Fushimi Ward.
The place where visitors could wash/purify their hands...
... using specialized water dippers
Near the map of the shrine vicinity

Overall, Fushimi Inari Shrine is a place of unique beauty and appeal. I just have to warn you though, expect a huge crowd when you visit.

Getting there:

From Kansai International Airport, ride a JR Haruka Limited Express line to Kyoto. From there, you could ride a taxi going to the shrine.

Ratings:
Crowd
Cleanliness
Overall rating

Comments

  1. The colours and the experience looks so nice to enjoy.

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  2. Oh I love the pictures. I had read some months ago about the importance of fox spirit in Japanese cultures. I forgot what those spirits are called!

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  3. I'm a big fan of Japan culture and traditions. I think they've come a long way as a country. Looking at your pictures amazed me how much of their culture is embody to their structures.

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  4. Asia is on Our list to go in 2019 ! thanks for sharing that!

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  5. All of the bright colors and those gates...Very pretty.

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  6. You seemed to have enjoyed that visit interesting visit A visit to Japan seems to foster an awareness of its religious culture.

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    1. I love everything that talks about history and culture.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this! We leave for Japan next month and I cannot wait to experiene Kyoto!!

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    1. Go go go! I would love to see your Kyoto trip Sarah. =)

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  8. I might have to add this destination to my list! What a beautiful family!

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  9. Looks beautiful. I'm sure it's worth battling the crowds. I still need to get to Japan. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. Wow!! Really enjoy reading your travel blogging here. Absolutely love Japan & wish I can personally travel to this area of Japan I love to travel around too :D cheers, siennylovesdrawing

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  11. Your pictures are beautiful! And the information about the shrine is so interesting.

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  12. I love the places you visit. Although i will not have the privilege to travel to most of the countries. this is a great way to read and see places

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  13. Very famous shrine and photogenic gates. I haven't been there but some former students went there to get professional pictures taken with the gates. Glad you enjoy it!

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  14. This seems like a place that should definitely be on my travel radar. I have not read much about Kyoto though! Thanks for the info. This will help me plan better!

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  15. Built in 711!!! That is so freaking cool. I am obsessed with old and ancient places and structures. There's something you can feel when you're in a place like that. Cool post. I like the guard dogs too.

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    1. This one is one of the oldest but you'd be surprised to find out that there are more temples and shrines older than this one.

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  16. We will be visiting Japan next year, your pictures have made me even more eager, so beautiful!

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  17. It looks like a beautiful place. Amazing architecture and such vibrant colors. I liked the fox heads to write down the wishes.

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    Replies
    1. It's really a beautiful place. =) You should come see.

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  18. I love Japan! I wish I will visit that place someday! Lucky you guys!

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  19. Kyoto has always been a famous spot to visit in Japan, it receives throngs of tourist both locally and internationally. I wish I could also drift myself to that direction knowing Japan is not really an affordable country to backpack. Thanks for posting.

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    Replies
    1. I would love to read about Kyoto someday in your blog.

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