Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto, Japan

December 3, 2018 Kyoto, Japan

Hi guys, today I'll be posting about the Fushimi Inari Taisha which I visited on my Japan trip last year!

Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kyoto. I wanted to visit it since it looked super instagrammable + I've never been to a Japanese temple/shrine.

My family and I were actually staying in Osaka, but we decided to go on a one day trip to Kyoto via train. My family and I didn't get the JR Pass, and instead we opted for the ICOCA card. The ICOCA card is a rechargeable, contract-less smart card kind of like a Touch & Go card here in Malaysia. The ICOCA can be used on JR, subway, private railway and bus transportation and for shopping in the Kansai Area and beyond.

Another tip, Japan is famous for having a lot of trains, and you'll have to change stations quite frequently as well. Instead of getting a map, I recommend getting a portable wifi/router and using Google Maps instead! It's way easier to find places + you can always use Google Translate to ask for directions. 

Our stay was near Tezukayama Station, making our journey to Fushimi Inari Taisha around 1 hour 17 minutes.

As you can see, we did have to switch stations a few times to reach Fushimi-Inari station. The cost of the entire train ride was JYP790. Another thing I liked about using Google Maps is that you can see the various "train combos" you can take and choose if you want to take the cheapest route or the fastest route to your destination (should your journey require you to switch stations).

The train ride was pretty comfy, and we got to see a lot of the suburbs + a bit of the countryside.

From the station, its a quick 7-minute walk before you reach the main gates of the Fushimi Inari Taisha. 

Since Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of Kyoto's more popular tourist destinations, you can find lots of food stalls & restaurants by the roadside.

My siblings and I had Taiyaki on our way up!

We went there on a Friday, and although it was around 9am when we reached, the crowd was already quite huge. Although there were still lots of Japanese around, I did notice a lot of tourists around as well.

On our way up, we passed by some rail tracksacks:

The first Torii/gate we passed by was around some shop lots:

Where we met Hello Kitty chilling on a bench!

A little further in we found this instagrammable empty spot away from the crowd:

Then we finally reached the main gate!

Inari shrines are the most familiar Shinto shrines to the Japanese people, and there are said to be around thirty thousand Shinto shrines throughout Japan. Located at the base of a mountain, Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine with which all the others are affiliated, and it is the home of the god Inari, which is the god of the rice harvest, commerce and business.

When we reached the gate, we managed to catch some priests walking down:

And we saw them return to the temple shortly after:

This is the view from the main gate, and as you can see there were lots of tourists that day:

The messenger of the god Inari is the fox, and you will see fox images & statues all over the shrine. The fox statues will sometimes have a key in their mouth, and the keys are supposed to represent the key to the rice storehouse in ancient times.

When we first ascended the stairs, I saw some people praying/wishing:

And by the side, there was a Chozuya. The Chozuya is where Japanese people purify themselevs and wash their hands. Apparently, no matter how cold it is, the Japanese will still line up to wash their hands here.

Aside from washing your hands, you can also cup the water in your hands, drink it (without swallowing), swish it around your mouth and spit it out (I think on the rocks) for further purification.

Here's a map of the entire Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine:

Here I am in front of the Ohuda/Omamori no jyuyosho (Office for selling talismans):

And here's the worship hall:

Over at the side there was this bike that made for a nice picture spot:

And further to the side was the Hall of Shinto Music & Dance:

Back on the track up to the mountain, we passed by some talismans shaped like Torii:

Here we have the Tamayama Inarisha:

The steps up the mountain weren't very steep/hard to climb, and as we ascended, we saw more and more of the mountain's forest folaige/trees:

Here we have the first of the Torii "tunnels", and this first one is apparently the site for Shinto rituals. As you can see, since there was a lot of people, so passing through the gates was pretty slow.

After that, we reached the Senbon Torri, which means 1000 Torri Gates. There are 2 pathways: on the right you can go up, and on the left is usually for people coming down the mountain.

I came here with the purpose of taking pics with the famous 1000 Torii Gates, but unfortunately there were too many people and all I could take were the gates lol

In true Japanese fashion, everyone was very orderly and only filing up the right tunnel to go up the mountain. Since I realized that it will probably be crowded everywhere as well, I decided to go to the other tunnel to take pics instead.

Since it was meant as a tunnel for returning, you can't really see the writings on the Torii haha. You can see them however from the side!

My siblings and I decided not to go up the mountain any further because #1 we were in the exit tunnel and it would be a hassle to try to go into the other crowded tunnel, and #2 we were kinda strapped on time and our other family members wanted to move on.

We exited the gates and decided to go around and go down the mountain another way.

Here we saw lots of foliage:

Although it was late November, the leaves were still pretty green T.T Although there were nice bursts of colour here and there, it was still mostly green:

We passed by this nice bridge where lots of families were taking pics, and it was the perfect OOTD spot to capture the trees:

Here's me and my siblings!

The rest of my family didn't come up the 1000 gates with up, and they went strolling by the trees instead. Although we were in the mountains, we managed to keep in touch thanks to our Travel Recommends wifi routers!

On our way down, we managed to get more pics with the trees:

And some super red maple leaves!

Overall I think it was a very enriching experience! It was nice to see and learn about the shrine, as well as to see some foliage & breathe in the fresh mountain air.

I'd recommend coming here earlier if you want to take pics, or coming on off peak seasons/days to avoid the crowd! I think I still managed to capture a lot of nice shots, but the crowd was pretty insane and we had to wait a while for people to walk by/clear out.

Aaaaaand that's it for this post, thanks for dropping by my blog! If you'd like to view more posts from my Japan trip, click here.

I'll see you in my next post!

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