Monday, December 10, 2012

Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社)

Torii(鳥居) and orange. Those two words are enough to describe Fushimi Inari shrine in Kyoto. Unlike other shrines or temples, Fushimi Inari is always open to the public. There's also no admission fee and it's quite near from the train stations.

The shrine is accessible via the Inari station (稲荷駅) of the JR Nara line (JR奈良線) and the Fushimi Inari station (伏見稲荷駅) of the Keihan Main line (京阪本線). Inari station is nearer to the shrine, but because JR lines are not included in our Kansai Surutto pass, we had to settle for the Fushimi Inari access. From this station, walking to the shrine will take just a couple of minutes towards the east. This path will lead to the "side entrance" of the shrine, with the main entrance to the right.

Fushimi Inari shrine is actually composed of many smaller shrines. When we looked into the map, it's like the entire mountain is filled with toriis and shrines. Of course, this is what Fushimi Inari is known for, so we took a short hike up the mountain to the first small shrine, which I really don't know what it's called. We passed by a shrine with a horse statue inside and just followed other tourists and some locals. I just wanted to get a glimpse of the toriis - big and small - and experience passing through them. Anyone who wants this will not be disappointed.

At the end of the first set of toriis was the first shrine. That first set started with 1 path of big toriis and ended it with 2 lines of small toriis as it branched out in the middle. Even though there were many tourists around, the sacredness of the place could still be felt especially when locals prayed. After taking some pictures, we headed back towards the main entrance and to the train station. By that time, the stalls along the street were already set-up with souvenir items.

Fushimi Inari from japan-guide
Fushimi Inari Shrine official website

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