One of the highlights to our visit to Kyoto last summer was hiking the trails around Fushimi Inari Shrine. Fushimi Inari is very extensive Shinto shrine complete with thousands of huge torii gates and smaller shrines/tributes. It was a really cool couple hour hike with an amazing diversity and wealth of statues, shrines, and torii. Instead of continuing to describe Fushimi Inari upfront, let’s jump into some pictures and I’ll fill give more info. as we go.
Here are a few pictures from the main entrance:
It was a sort of hazy day, so the sky is pretty whited out in these pictures.
A grand torii gate greets visitors at the main entrance. Torii Gates:
White shirts and dress pants everywhere.
Early on in our hike, it was fairly crowded with school children. As we got further away from the entrance the crowds dwindled.
Many of the torii along the path are donated by local business now.
Looking back down at the torii while taking a detour.
My parents and brother
My bro and I
Thousands of torii to walk through!
It was a very peaceful and beautiful walk up the mountain.
An old stone torii
The green foliage through which the path sliced added to the spectacle as well.
As we got deeper into the forest, the torii became spaced out a little bit more. Shrines & Statues:
Shrines upon shrines
One of many shrines alongside the paths
Mini torii can be purchased on site and placed at shrines.
There are a lot of shrines located atop the mountain and it is well worth the walk up.
In the thick of things!
One of many, many fox statues at Fushimi Inari. Inari is the God of rice and foxes (or kitsune) are viewed as messengers to this God.
A fox with a ball or jewel in its mouth.
Several of the foxes hold keys in their mouths. These keys are supposed to represent access to rice granaries.
A more polished or perhaps newer statue.
Red is considered a lucky color, so a lot of the statues are adorned with them.
One of my favorites
This statue appeared to be more recent. There was a very interesting mix of old and new within the shrines. Many of the statues date back hundreds (over a thousand in some cases) of years though.
I have no explanation for this statue, but it makes me laugh.
As we made our way back toward the entrance, there were a wealth additional statues and shrines. This area almost felt like an overflow area when they ran out of room, but it was really cool as well.
I’m not exactly sure what message or idea this wooden statue seeks to convey, but it is awesome!
Statue overflow with a soda machine. I believe that is a Confucius statue next to the machine.
A bamboo forest just off the main path.
A view of Kyoto near the top.
A few more photos back at the entrance.
Photos of photos.