Fushimi Inari Shrine - 'torii' gates
Updated: Feb 24
This intriguing shrine was dedicated to the god of rice and sake by the Hata clan in the 8th century.
As the role of agriculture diminished, deities were enrolled to ensure prosperity in business enterprises. The magical, seemingly unending path of over 5,000 vibrant orange torii gates that wind through the hills behind Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine makes it one of the most popular shrines in Japan.
The walk around the upper precincts is a pleasant day hike. It also makes for a delightfully eerie stroll in the late afternoon and early evening, when the various graveyards and miniature shrines along the path take on a mysterious air. This shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake in the 8th century, also features dozens of statues of foxes. The fox is seen as the messenger of the god of grain foods, Inari, and the stone foxes are often known by
the same name. The keys often depicted in the fox mouths are keys to granaries.
This shrine is the central location for some 40,000 Inari shrines throughout the entirety of Japan. Today we walked with thousands of other tourists to experience the gates, shrines and the views from the lookout far above the city scape of Kyoto.
Along the pathways there are different directions to take with many many small individual shrines dotted along the way. There are many small areas where the local people congregate and meet to pray.
After the arduous task of tackling the uphill pathways and numerous steps, it was time to descend back down to the main Shrine area. It was not obvious at first with the intense amount of tourists to evade, also keeping your footing on the un-even steps and then trying to absorb the enormity of the gates and the beautiful rainforest like hillside. The reverse side of the gates had the most exquisite Japanese scriptures (writing) on them.
I was unsure what they said, however some were clear from the inscriptions, as some or the majority were partly sponsored or donated by large Companies, corporations and maybe even family groups.
Here you can see the Japanese inscriptions and a plaque on the reverse side of the gate posts, and it took some patience, politeness and much cooperation from all to obtain these photographs without any people in them. Very lucky.
As we made our way back down amongst the hoards of tourists and many many school children on group tours we were able to see the main Shrine building at the entrance in front of the two main 'torii' gates that line the entrance (Avenue).
What a wonderful day, beautiful clear warm weather to soak in the ambiance of the Shrines and 'torii' gates.
In closing, 'Take Every Chance You Get In Life, Because Some Things Only Happen ONCE', & let my stories and experience give you inspiration to create your own Moments.
Another 'Rivetting Moment', to inspire & ignite the traveller in you, to broaden life challenges & experiences!!!