Long regarded as the cultural heart of Japan, the ancient city of Kyoto delights visitors with a mystical collection of distinguished Zen-gardens, world heritage sites, winding alleys and a plethora of temples and shrines.
One of the unmissable sights in Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. Dedicated to the god of rice and sake by the Hata clan in the 8th century, the mysterious shrine weaves unexpectedly through an old bamboo forest. The entrance is flanked by a pair of foxes which are magical creatures in Japanese folklore and messengers of the gods.
The vision of beautiful Japanese women and men dressed in their finest kimonos strolling around the shrine evoked nostalgic feelings of a bygone era and enhanced our highly romantic view of Japan.
The Unending Path of Orange Torii Gates
Walking through the never ending series of brightly colored orange gates is absolutely delightful, especially in the late afternoon and early evening when the lanterns are the only source of light.Donated by worshippers from all over Japan to show their utmost gratitude for Inari‘s blessing, these gates called “Senbon Torii” (thousand gates) were seen in a memorable scene in Memoirs of a Geisha.
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is located in Fushimi-ku, in southern Kyoto. The quaint neighborhood surrounding the shrine is filled with souvenir and local tea shops, tasteful cafes, restaurants and wonderful stores selling the signature product of this area: Inari Senbei (fox-shaped rice crackers).
The entry is free, and…Guess what? It never closes!!