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Perhaps one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks, the visually stunning arrangement of thousands of red-orange torii gates of the Fushimi Inari Shrine are a must-see in Kyoto.
The torii gates form an unbroken tunnel leading to the crest of Mount Inari from its base, takes approximately 2 hours to climb up. Visitors should not worry though, as one does not need to make the climb to see these gates, as there are thousands of gates. This picturesque spot is possibly one of the most visited areas in Kyoto, captivating millions who have come to see the gates. The vermilion red colors are based on the power of the sun, bringing light and prosperity. The captivating beauty of this shrine was used as a location for the movie Memoirs of a Geisha and continues to draw in thousands each year.
As the oldest and most famous of all of the Inari shrines in Japan, Fushimi Inari Taisha is dedicated to the Shinto deity thought to protect the harvest and bring prosperity in business. There's a custom started in the Edo Period for visitors to go through the gates for good luck. To this day, many who visit the shrine go through the gates to have their heartfelt wishes granted. The shrine is also close to many "Power Spots" nearby. There is a custom based on the story "Taketori Monogatari" where visitors write their wishes on Chiyogami dolls for them to come true. There are many Inari shrines in Japan, but it is easy to see how Fushimi Inari holds the top spot.
In addition to the red torii gates, the shrine boasts thousands of fox statues - Inari's messengers - and the tea houses and shops around the shrine sell delicacies associated with foxes: inari-zushi and kitsune-udon. Though popular with tourists and locals alike, Fushimi Inari Shrine maintains a sense of tranquillity, and the torii-lined paths leading up the mountain provide a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Fushimi Inari Shrine is often cited as one of our tour participants' favorite places in Kyoto, if not Japan. Don't miss the chance to visit this iconic landmark of Japan. Join any of our Cherry Blossom Tours to plan your visit to the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
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