Yes, I am back in Kyoto for another adventure. It is now Spring / end of winter and the weather is getting warmer vs how it was last month.
Today, we decided to explore an important Shinto Shine located at the southern of Kyoto, Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha). Famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, the straddled network of trails lead into the forest of the sacred Mount Inari.
Our journey start from Osaka where we took the JR to Inari JR Station, along the JR Nara Line. The entire journey took us slightly over an hour from Namba Station. From Namba station, we took the subway from Midosuji Line 各停 heading towards towards Shin-Osaka before getting down in Umeda Station where we walk to Osaka Station. We board the JR Train at Osaka Station, Tokaido-Sanyo Line 新快速 heading towards Tsuruga via Kosei Line. We got down Kyoto Station before we took the JR Train, Nara Line 各停 heading towards Nara getting down in Inari JR Station. The entire journey cost is estimated at 2,100 yen only per adult.
Finally arriving at Inari JR Station, we took a short walk to Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) which was only about 5 minutes walk away. Not having time to had breakfast that morning, we stop by a lovely cafe along the way for a quick and delicious breakfast.
The friendly people who runs the cafe were very kind in allowing us to also enjoy some of the sushi that we have bought from the stall across the street. After all, while in Japan, one need to sample simple japanese breakfast with the traditional sushi.
After a good breakfast, we continued our walk towards Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) while enjoying the scenic view and interesting food stalls and shops along the way. Of course, where possible, we will stop for some snacks. After all, how to resist those interesting snacks along the way!
Finally, we arrived at our destination, Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社). It is said that Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) is one of the most important of many shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. There were many statues of foxes seen across the shrine ground because foxes are thought to be Inari’s messenger.
Behind the Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社), there is an attractive mountain trails which is also one of the reason why foreign visitors explore this area. At the entrance, stands the Romon Gate while behind the main building of the shrine, there are many auxiliary buildings.
One of the many statues of foxes, the said messenger of Inari
At the back of the main ground of Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社), is the entrance to the hiking trail, which starts with two dense, parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii (thousands of torii gates). It is said that the torii gates along the trail are donations, therefore, one will see the donor’s name and the date of the donation inscribed at the back of each gate.
The two dense rows of torii gates of Senbon Torii
The name of the donor and date of donation inscribed on the gate
And here we go starting our hike up….. There is a long hike up to the summit of the mountain which is said to take an estimated of 2 – 3 hours. Visitors however are free to walk as far as they wish before they turn back.
There are many smaller shrines with stacks of miniature torii gates along the way. These are donated by visitors with smaller budgets. We took a stop at a beautiful Shrine for a quick break before continuing our journey.
Here in this stop, we had a beautiful view of the torii gates….
Slightly further up from this Shrine where we stop, we decided to turn back as we were heading off to another famous temple after this. It is really convenience to turn back as there were many exit point along the way.
Map along the way which indicate what we are able to see along the way. Unfortunately, this is the point where we turn to head back down.
There are many gift shops and information maps located around the area making it convenience for tourist
And of course a few more snacks to try out along the way back to Inari JR Station to take the train heading to our next stop… my re-visit to Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) : you may read about this UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE Sites of Kyoto from my previous post here – Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺)