Fushimi Inari, Kyoto
I felt I could not open the new weekly photo series with any other place but Kyoto, my favourite place in the whole world! Kyoto is full of gorgeous sites, but I chose to start with Fushimi Inari Shrine as it is truly unique not only in Japan, but in the world!
Its full name is Fushimi Inari Taisha and it is a Shinto Shrine situated just south of Kyoto. The thousands vermilion coloured gates are what make this shrine so unique. These gates are typical for Shinto religion and they are called torii gates. All Shinto Shrines will have torii gates but they are not always necessarily vermilion colour. In fact these gates are making the distinction whether a temple belongs to the Budhist or Shinto religion (especially for the uninitiated).
You can check two of my previous posts about Japan as well:
Kyoto – 10 reasons why it is unique , where you can find more pictures from Fushimi inari
15 things I love about Japan, to learn a bit more about the 2 religions.
The gates at Fushimi Inari span over 4Km and the hike can take about 2 hours. As you climb, the gates are not as dense but you discover other gorgeous sites and views on the way.
Inari is a Japanese deity, popularly known as the god of business and agriculture. The Inari god is associated with the fox and that’s why foxes can be seen everywhere throughout this shrine.
The Fushimi Inari Shrine is a protected UNESCO World Heritage site and it is a must see if you visit Kyoto. You do not necessarily have to do the whole trail to admire its beauty and there are always alternative routes to climb if you wish. It does require a decent fitness level though.
Fushimi Inari is very easy to reach from Kyoto by JR local Nara line from Kyoto station. The entrance gate is right in front of the station.