Fushimi Inari Taisha is a large complex built on the side of Mt. Inari. It houses ten thousand vermillion torii (shrine gates) that heads to Mt. Inari's peak. The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the diety of rice crops, which is believed to appear in different forms, like an old man or a woman with flowing hair. There are also notable statues of foxes (kitsune) within the complex grounds. It is believed to be Inari's messenger and guardian of human. These arrayed shrine gates came from the donation of business men that prayed and granted success. Their names are painted black in Japanese characters in the gates they donated.
Along the way to the mountain's peak, there are shrines which display smaller torii gates. Restaurants are also present around, which serves Kyoto's famous delicacies such as aburaage (fried tofu), and shrine-themed food such as Kitsune Udon and Inari Sushi. There are also vending machines around the area. As visitors ascend, the more expensive the goods become. Halfway through the trail is the Yotsu-tsuji intersection that gives a charming horizon of Kyoto. Visitors may choose to go back to the mountain base or continue to the mountain summit. If you wish to offer a prayer for business or good harvest, it is best to have private time at the shrines' prayer halls. You may also toss coins to kitsune for added luck.
The shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station (main station) along the JR Nara Line.
Every June 10, the Shrine gathers devotees to join the rice planting festival. There are another festival on November 8 to ensure the blessing and good harvest flowing. Since the shrine is really a popular destination, it is best to come in the morning. The Shrine is open for all, daily.
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