Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi Inari Taisha or ‘Fushimi Inari Shrine’ is one of Kyoto’s most popular and photographed destinations due to the thousands of ‘torii’ gates that lead from the shrine into the mountains. The shrine is dedicated to Inari – the Shinto deity of rice and agriculture – and dates back to before the 8th century when Kyoto was made the capital of Japan. The shrine complex includes multiple notable and beautiful structures include the ‘Romon’ (Main Gate), ‘Go-Honden’ (Main Shrine) and ‘Okumiya’ (Inner Shrine).
The first known shrine structures were built in the early 8th century however the main shrine that stands today was built at the end of the 15th century. While it’s the thousands of torii that attract visitors to Fushimi Inari, the shrines themselves are worth taking time to enjoy and explore.
The famous gates are located behind the shrines and let several kilometres in the mountains. Known as the ‘Senbon Torii’, two parallel paths lined with vermillion torii lead away from a central gate into the forest and ascend to the summit of the mountain. To walk all the way and back takes between 2 to 3 hours however many visitors will wander beneath the gates at their leisure, capturing photographs before returning to the shrines. Obviously the further along the paths you walk, the more space you will have as other visitors return to the entrance. The shrine complex and torii are accessible at all times of day.