Fushimi Inari Taisha
The god Inari has a very important role in the Shinto religion, as well as in the faith of the Japanese. Inari is the god of rice, sake, tea, agriculture, fertility, foxes and business.
Inari today is seen as one of the greatest protectors of the people of Japan. It is said that Inari is kind and very beautiful. They describe it with long black hair, wearing a vermilion kimono, it is androgynous and so beautiful that if it were presented to terrestrial people they could even faint from so much light. Therefore, the god Inari sends his messengers to the earth to take his news, these messengers are the white foxes, so in all the Inari sanctuaries they have two foxes guarding at the entrance.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
In all of Japan there are about 32,000 Shinto sanctuaries dedicated to this important god. The main sanctuary and the head of the entire network, is located in the city of Kyoto. Known worldwide for its more than 10,000 Toriis in a row, the “Fushimi Inari Taisha” shrine attracts around 3 million visitors the first three days of the year, and is one of the main attractions of Kyoto.
The sanctuary is located at the base of Mount Inari and includes many minor sanctuaries that span 4 kilometers to the 233 meter mountain.
Each of the doors of the sanctuary (torii) has been donated by an individual or a Japanese business in the hope of receiving good luck and fortune. The donor’s name is written in black ink on the back of each door. The main structure of the sanctuary was built in 1499 and is designated as an important cultural asset of Japan. The sacred enclosure contains five sanctuaries: a lower sanctuary, a middle sanctuary, a higher sanctuary and auxiliary sanctuaries.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is also famous for appearing in the famous film “Memoirs of a Geisha.”
The Fushimi Inari Shrine is a wonderful experience in Japan and is recommended to any enthusiastic traveler. The large number of people who visit this sanctuary daily is amazing. The sanctuary itself is impressive, with the opportunity to purify yourself at the entrance (through Shinto purification) and then the opportunity to pray.
Beyond the sanctuary, a (challenging) mountain walk ends with a wonderful view of Kyoto and the main sanctuary. Inside the main sanctuary, omamoris are sold (for good luck, health, prosperity, etc.).
Throughout Japan, the Fushimi Inari Shrine is a must-see for those visitors who want to feel the power and beauty of the Shinto shrines.
From Inari (JR Line) or Fushimi-Inari (Keihan Line) station
The sanctuary is open twenty four hours a day, so you can enjoy an exciting night walk to the top of the mountain.