Fushimi Inari-Taisha is a Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of red torii gates which trail into the wooden forests of Mount Inari which stands at 223 meters tall.

Fushimi Inari is a shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be messengers from god, resulting in many fox statues across the mountainside and grounds.

These shrines are always free to the public, the trail can take 2-3 hours if you wish to reach the summit, however, there are turning back points frequently if you are short on time.

We had a limited amount of time here so unfortunately did not venture very far, we spent about an hour here walking the trails (quite fast as to try and beat the crowd that had started gathering).

The red colour was really quite striking, especially in the sunlight that we had been lucky enough to visit in! It felt a little bit like a kind of maze, these torii gates grouped people together and herded them up the mountainside. You don’t need to spend long here to realise that it is such a tourist attraction, it is even listed as Japan’s No. 1! So, as you would expect, the herds of people soon appeared armed with cameras, selfie sticks, ipads and anything else you can think of.

It is a shame with religious sites such as this to visit when there is so much distraction. I imagine it can be quite a thought-provoking, reflective and emotional place at its quietest. We had tried to visit as early as possible, but on this occasion unfortunately we were unlucky. Travel timings didn’t quite work out and so we didn’t enjoy this to it’s full potential.

My favourite moments from this day were when we managed to lose the crowds, go off-path and discover some smaller, more remote shrines. We took the time to relax here, soak up the atmosphere and really enjoy ourselves.


Taken with my Nikon D60, on Fujifilm 200 with a  28-100mm lens.

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