Kyoto Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine


The charms of Fushimi Inari Taisha


The Fushimi Inari Taisha is the main shrine of the 40,000 or so Inari shrines in Japan, and is known for its deity, Ukanomitama no Okami (the Great Spirit of Uka no Mikami), and for blessings such as a good harvest, prosperous business and traffic safety.

The shrine is also known for its “Inari” name.

The name “Inari” is said to have come from the legend that Hata Iroko shot an arrow at a rice cake, which turned into a swan and flew away, and the rice grew and bore fruit. The shrine was founded in the Wadou period (708-715).

The shrine was founded in 1468.

In 1468, during the Onin War, all structures on Mt. Inari were burned to the ground, including the Inari Shrine. The current main shrine was rebuilt in 1499 and has been repaired many times over the years.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi prayed to Inari Shrine to cure his mother’s illness, and when his wish was fulfilled and she was cured, he donated the gate as thanks.

The shrine is said to have been dedicated in gratitude for her mother’s recovery from her illness.

As the god of prosperous business and a good harvest, it is a place that attracts tourists from all over the country and the world. It is the number one most popular tourist spot for visitors from abroad, and the reason for this is its easy accessibility, as it is located just five minutes by train from Kyoto Station and just in front of Inari Station, the nearest train station.


History of Fushimi Inari

The Fushimi Inari Taisha is said to have existed as early as the year 700 and first appeared on the stage of history in 711. In 2011, the shrine celebrated the 1,300th anniversary of Inari’s establishment, and it has remained popular for 1,300 years because it is the god of the common people. This will not change in the future.

In 1868, the Fushimi Inari Taisha was founded in the Meiji era.

In 1868, at the beginning of the Meiji era, Fushimi Inari was once again in danger of being exposed to war. The Battle of Toba-Fushimi occurred and it seemed that it would once again become a battlefield, but the Shogunate forces retreated to Osaka without fighting and there was little damage. However, in the same year, many valuable cultural properties were destroyed due to the separation of Shintoism and Buddhism (a directive by the Dajokan to make a clear distinction between Shintoism and Buddhism) and the movement to abolish Buddhism (a movement to tear down Buddhist temples and statues, and to distribute privileges that ordained priests had received). The shrine’s precincts were reduced to a quarter of its former size as the government took away its territory, and the shrine was placed under the “modern shrine ranking system”, the most prestigious of the kanpo-taisya, a system that grades shrines.

However, after the end of World War II, the modern shrine ranking system was abolished and the shrine made a new start as a religious corporation. The name of the shrine, which had been simply “Inari Shrine”, was officially changed to “Fushimi Inari Taisha” to avoid confusion with shrines in other regions. The shrine has been greatly affected by wars and changes in circumstances, but it has witnessed so much history.

One of the reasons why people have been familiar with Inari Taisha for such a long time is because it is the “god of the common people”.


Reasons for its popularity with foreign tourists

When you visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, you will be surprised at the number of tourists from overseas. It consistently ranks high on the list of popular tourist spots for foreigners, which shows how highly it is regarded. This is due to a number of factors, including its convenient accessibility in the tourist city of Kyoto, the huge number of red torii gates that symbolize Fushimi Inari that line the streets just outside the station, and the fact that there are no closing times and no entrance fees.

The area around the main shrine is always lit up, and the approach to the shrine is illuminated all night long, so there is no end to the number of foreign visitors, even at night.

Unlike mountain climbing or trekking, the Inari Mountain Tour is an easy and enjoyable walking experience, although there are ups and downs. For Westerners who are accustomed to walking, it is a great way to get some moderate exercise after the sun goes down.

There has been a rapid increase in the number of tourists from overseas.

With the rapid increase in the number of foreign tourists, many of the signs on the shrine grounds are in English and other foreign languages, and some of the shrine staff speak fluent English. Many foreign tourists are said to take pictures of torii gates when they visit shrines. Japanese people are accustomed to seeing them, but for foreigners, they are rare. Especially the Senbon-torii, even if you are not a foreigner, you will want to take a picture of it.


Deeply etched in Japanese history…

The Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine was burned down during the Onin War, a war that is an essential part of Japanese history. It is said that it took about 40 years to build a new main shrine building, and then the shrine was moved to its current location. It shows the people and the people who were in the new position, and their love for Inari-san.


Fushimi Inari and the Thousand Torii Gate

The vast number of torii gates, called “Senbon-torii,” is said to number not only 1,000, but 5,000 or even 10,000, all of which have been dedicated to the shrine. The custom of dedicating torii gates to the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in gratitude for having one’s wishes granted has spread and continues to the present day. The light shining through the numerous vermilion torii gates that line not only the main shrine building, but all over Mount Inari, makes you feel as if you are on your way to a completely different world. Looking closely, you can see that some are brightly colored, some are faded, some are made of stone, and others are made of various other materials. Looking at the date of dedication, it can be seen that they were not built in order, but in a wide place of sense. Looking at each of the torii gates, you can see that many of them were dedicated from outside of Kyoto, which makes you wonder if they have fulfilled the wishes of people from all over the country and the world.

Torii gates have different initial fees depending on the size and the place of dedication. The smallest torii gate costs from 175,000 yen. The largest torii gate costs from 1,032,000 yen. Ideally, the bigger the wish that has been granted, the bigger the size of the street should be. Applications are available at the shrine office, so if you have a wish that came true, by all means, dedicate a torii gate as a thank-you.

After passing through the vermilion tunnel, the inner sanctuary finally comes into view. The shrine is lined with fox ema (votive picture frames), and the unique faces of the foxes seem to be looking at you. After writing down the unique faces, don’t forget to write down your wishes.

There is a stone about the size of a human face here called the Omokaruseki, and you can lift it up while thinking of your wish. It is said that if you feel the stone is lighter than you expected, your wish will come true, and if you feel it is heavier than you expected, it will not. Let’s throw away the notion that “it’s a stone, so it must be heavy” and try lifting it with your intuition.


Sparrow and Quail!

Walking along the approach to Fushimi Inari, many people see the words “sparrow roasted whole” and “quail roasted whole” and wonder what they are. Many people wonder what they are. Many people are intrigued because they do not usually have the opportunity to eat sparrows and quails. There is a strong theory that the tinned quail was considered the great enemy of rice and was eaten roasted whole because it was exterminated so that it would not be devoured. There is also a theory that quails were also abundant in the area. Because tinned quails are only allowed to be hunted at certain times of the year, roasted quails are more common. Because they are roasted whole, they look quite grotesque. However, it is a specialty of Fushimi Inari, so I’d like to try it as a souvenir. You can choose between boned and boneless, and eat it with plenty of sauce.


Enjoy the Hongu Festival in July

The Hongu Matsuri is held every year on the first Sunday or national holiday after the first day of summer in July. The day before the festival, the “Yoimiya Festival” is held and the “Manto Shrine Ceremony” is held, in which stone lanterns and lanterns are lit and the shrine grounds are dyed bright red. Even in the daytime, the huge number of Senbon-torii (thousands of torii gates) makes the scenery look otherworldly, but you can see an even more fantastic sight. Of course, lanterns are attached to the Senbon-torii, and you can enjoy a different atmosphere than usual. The large lanterns cost 10,000 yen per lantern, and the small ones 3,000 yen. The number of lights is limited, so you need to apply early, but it might be a good idea to play a part in the fantastic night of Inari-san. After the festival is over, you will receive a small paper lantern and a Hongu bell at home.

More than 400 lantern paintings drawn by local children and Japanese painters from all over Kyoto are on display, and while the children’s paintings are cute and unique and never get tired of looking at them, the paintings drawn by the artists are fascinating and worth seeing. You will lose track of time if you take the time to look at each one carefully.

Yosakoi Soran

It becomes even more lively when the Yosakoi Soran and Japanese drums are performed and the Hongu Odori dance is dedicated in front of the Sanguden.


Gourmet and souvenir information to enjoy in the surrounding area


Souvenir information you must buy

The approach to Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine forms a shopping street and is popular with tourists from overseas. Hand-baked “inari sembei” (rice crackers) that stick to the traditional taste are popular souvenirs among those who visit the shrine to pray for prosperous business. Kitsune Sembei,” popular for its sweet white miso paste and sesame aroma, features an uneven fox face like a mask. Inari Sembe,” popular as a good-luck charm, has a baked shape of a fox jumping up and down. It tastes the same as the Kitsune Sembe, but you might buy this one if you think it will bring you good luck! The fortune cookie is a fortune cookie that comes out of the inside, and the original fortune cookie is the Tsujiyomi Sembe. There are 180 types of fortune cookies, and if you consult with the staff, they can even make fortunes in foreign languages such as English and Chinese. You can share the thrill of waiting for the fortune to come out with your family and friends.

Simizu pottery and Shigaraki ceramics are also available.

A feature of this area is that there are many shops selling Kiyomizu-yaki and Shigaraki-yaki ceramics. Matcha tea bowls, rice bowls, and yunomi sets are also popular among foreign tourists. In addition to tableware, Shigaraki ware also sells ornaments, and many people buy adorable ornaments as souvenirs for their loved ones, just like in Kyoto. If you can’t bring it home, we can ship it to you, so don’t worry about taking it home, just buy as much as you can.


Luxurious lunch in front of Fushimi Inari Station

After visiting Inari-san in the morning, some people may want to enjoy lunch nearby. There are many restaurants in the area around Fushimi Inari Station, and since it is close to Inari-san, it is fun to stroll around and look for a place to eat.

A popular restaurant is Kendonya, where you can enjoy udon noodles with a chewy texture. There is a wide selection of noodles such as udon and buckwheat, as well as rice bowls. Above all, the clean and comfortable interior and exterior will make you want to stay longer. The prices are reasonable and it is the most popular restaurant around the station.

Nezameya is a long-established restaurant with a surprisingly long history, having been established in 1592, and was a favorite of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The word “Neme” was named after Hideyoshi’s beloved wife “Nene”, which is astonishing. Popular menu items include eel, herring soba and kitsune udon noodles, and the famous inari sushi can also be taken out. It is recommended for those who might be hungry after returning to the inn. The sushi is made to order and wrapped in deep-fried tofu. You will be surprised at the crispy texture of the hemp seeds in it, but you will be addicted to the crunchy texture.


Take a break at the cafe

Take a break after a long day of walking. At times like that, it would be nice to find a stylish café. You may be thinking, “Is there a café around Inari-san? But there are surprisingly many places where you can relax and enjoy Kyoto’s atmosphere.

The most popular shop is Kaiseki Cafe Kaerukichi. Many repeat customers come back for the lineup of dishes that is so good you’d never guess it was a casual café, and the menu changes every month. The parfait and Japanese confectionery are full of comforting elements, but the authentic kaiseki dishes are also very appealing, and you won’t believe it’s café food.

The atmosphere at Ansonia Cafe, which is open as a café during the day but changes to a bar at night, is greeted by Ebisu-sama at the entrance. Once inside, you will be warmly greeted by the friendly owner. The atmosphere is one where you can enjoy jazz with guitars and pianos placed at the counter, where live performances are also held at night. There are many people who would like to become regular customers if they weren’t on vacation, and there are even regular customers who come to the shop every time they visit Kyoto. The atmosphere makes you want to visit twice a day, once during cafe time and once during bar time.


I’ll make love to you for sightseeing



Fushimi Inari Taisha Access

Fushimi Inari Taisha is the second station on the Nara Line from Kyoto Station and is easily accessible as soon as you get off the station. Kyoto itself is a world-famous tourist destination, and with such good accessibility, foreign tourists unfamiliar with Japanese geography can easily get there.


Highlights and visitors

Various festivals are held throughout the year at Fushimi Inari Taisha. Among them, the Teshidan Ceremony on New Year’s Eve and the purification ceremony on New Year’s Eve are particularly prestigious and remind us of the shrine’s history. During the year-end and New Year’s holidays, the shrine is crowded with worshippers preparing for the New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve.


A stroll around the area is also popular

The area around Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is within walking distance of Tofukuji Temple and other representative temples and shrines of Kyoto, as well as historical buildings. There are many model sightseeing courses that allow you to enjoy the best of Kyoto all at once, such as the “Kaiun Course” and the “Healthy Course”. You can enjoy a healthy trip while making various requests such as praying for business prosperity, family safety, safe delivery, and success in school.


Tips for visiting by car

We don’t recommend driving to Fushimi Inari Taisha to avoid the crowds, but for those who insist on doing so, we’d like to share a secret technique.

Although there is a dedicated parking lot, it is closed during the Hatsumode and festival periods and the surrounding parking lots are always full. The temporary parking lot also has a drawback: it costs more than 2,000 yen for an hour, so you can’t take your time. If you don’t have a car, JR Inari Station or Keihan Electric Railway Fushimi Inari Station are convenient and nearby. However, there are only spaces for 14 cars, so there is a possibility that you may not be able to park.

If you want to be sure to park when you go, aim for the parking lots around JR Rokujizo Station. There are many parking lots in the area, so the chances of it being full are lower than at Fukakusa Station. The Keihan line is also nearby, but you can get there without changing trains on the JR line, so save the parking around Keihan Rokujizo Station for last.


Convenient train access

No transfers from Kyoto Station; just get off at Inari Station on the JR Nara Line, which is very attractive.

As many places of interest can only be reached by train or bus and then on foot, access to the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine is very appealing. There is a direct bus service from Kyoto Station and the Keihan Railway station is right in front of the shrine. There are 200 free parking spaces available, but they are closed during festivals and Hatsumode (New Year’s visit), so public transportation is more convenient. A taxi from Kyoto Station costs less than 1,500 yen. It is definitely more convenient than going by car and is recommended.

It would take at least two hours just to see all the Inari shrines. It will take more time if you choose souvenirs or have a meal, so it would be better to choose the best means of transportation considering your physical condition, the distance to the inn, and the way to the next tourist attraction.

Not just for worshipping!


Sightseeing in and around Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

It is said that one of the reasons why the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine has become so popular with foreign tourists is the opportunity to explore the area around the shrine. The trip around Mount Inari is so popular that foreign tourists are more noticeable on weekdays, in part because of the walking tour available.


Bring a flashlight!

While the Inari Mountain walk is very popular as a route to feel Japaneseness, it is not particularly restricted, so you can climb Inari Mountain after dusk. Although not dangerous, there are areas along the way where there are no street lights, so please bring a flashlight and enjoy walking Mount Inari at night.


More foreigners on weekdays

When you visit Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, you will be surprised at just how many foreign tourists there are. It has a history of being ranked as the number one tourist spot visited by foreigners. This is not only because of its convenient access, but also because the shrine is free to visit, there are no closing times and people can come and go as they please, and the countless torii gates in a row fit the image of Japan that foreigners have of the shrine.


Lift up your wish if you want it to come true

One of the features of Fushimi Inari Taisha is that there is more to it than just visiting the shrine. Further inside the Okusha Shrine is an unusual stone called the “Omokaruseki”, which you can lift freely. It is said that if you feel lighter than you expected when you lift it up, your wish will come true, but if it is heavier, it will not.


Let the fun be in the souvenirs

If you visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, you’ll want to pick up some unusual souvenirs. Fortune cookies,” which are rice crackers with a fortune inside, are popular with tourists from overseas. Although they are called fortune cookies, the taste is popular for its Kyoto-like white miso flavor, which is also popular among foreign tourists☆


Crimson torii gate and “Japaneseness”

If you have visited or seen pictures of Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, the first thing that comes to mind is the red torii gate leading from the station. This scenery is what foreign tourists come to Inari Taisha to see for the “beauty of Japan”, and the seemingly endless number of torii gates leads you to another world. The place has such a unique aura that you may feel an illusion that you are leading to a different world. I want you to actually see this feeling with your own eyes and feel the real awesomeness.


Fushimi Inari Taisha address and phone number