Kyoto is the storehouse of Japan’s traditional culture. It probably has the most sights that make up the popular image of Japan – beautiful temples, bamboo gardens, and geisha; each worthy of a separate post. But this time I will introduce a unique and amazing place that is 5-minute-train-ride away from Kyoto.
After a short walk from the Inari train station, here is the entrance to Fushimi Inari Taisha. This amazing shrine was dedicated to the gods of rice and sake by the Hata family in the 8th century.
The shrine complex includes trails up the densely wooded Inari mountain that spans 4 kilometers and takes approximately 2 hours. Mostly we walked in arcades of torii.
Each of the torii here was donated by a Japanese business. Their names, dates, and occasions were carved in neat black characters.
Hmmmm… which side should we take?
The characters appear on one side of the torii only, thus looking ahead and looking back gives somewhat different views.
Once in a while, we saw mini-shrines like this.
It was a great experience hiking up and down the mountain, with totally fascinating surroundings and views. The complex was well maintained and not very crowded. Therefore I was able to capture photos with no people in it. 🙂
I don’t think we explored the whole area, but we did get the essence and enjoyed it immensely. Here is a map in case you plan to visit. Highly recommend!