Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Shrine

v Fushimi Inari taisha
· Head Shinto shrine of Inari (god of rice/business), founded 711 AD.  The shrine’s romon (entrance torii) was donated in 1589 by Hideyoshi.  Businesses donate torii gates for luck.  Each torii has the business’ name and date inscribed on it.  
· Kitsune land!  Kitsune foxes are known as messengers/familiars for gods, and hold a key to the rice ‘silos’ in their mouths.  Kitsune are supposed to be intelligent creatures with magical abilities to increase their age and wisdom.  They can also take human form.  Some say they use this to trick people, others say it is so they can be faithful guardians.  Kitsune may have nine tails, the number of tails corresponding to the fox’s age and power.  When it gets its 9th tail, the fur changes to white or gold. 
§ If you are possessed by a kitsune, afterwards you will never be able to eat tofu again. Fox possession was a common diagnosis for mental illness until the 20th century.

§ Kitsunebi is fox fire, which the kitsune carries in its mouth or on its tail.

Quite possibly one of the coolest shrines in Kyoto, Fushimi Inari is decked out in hundreds of torii gates that snake up the hill.

It's also the main setting for the anime Inari, Kon Kon, Koi Iroha - which is a fantastic manga/anime that you should definitely check out. It's fantasy/romance (but not shoujo), and Sak and I have total crushes on Uka and Touka, respectively. Fufufu. Chuuni boy.

Unfortunately could not find any kon plushies in any of the local shops! :(
Anyway, Fushimi Inari is awesome because it is free, and always open.  I suppose coming here at night would be a real treat if its all lit up!

There are foxes all over.

And everything is painted a fantastic vermillion red! I love it!

Sak picked up his shuin at the bottom of the shrine.

And then we walked up and up through the torii gates, looking for uncrowded opportunities in which to take a picture. Even on a weekday morning it was quite crowded!

Though beware - this place is in a wooded area, and there are spiders that hang out on top the gates.  If you're tall, make sure you look where you're going.

Would you like to have your own torii gate?  Here's the donation prices, kinda pricey!

Gotta tell the dogs not to pee on them though. I'd imagine it ruins the paint!

The top was the best though! Fox shaped ema plaques!  Clearly there is an otaku community visiting this place!

Bottom right. Best face ever.
 Fushimi Inari should be on the short list for anyone planning a visit to Kyoto. Make sure you grab some inarizushi on your way out too!

It is, afterall, rated #1 on Trip Advisor for foreign tourists! Haha!


  1. Cool! I think this is the one I see in everyone's Japan vacation pics. :) You got a lot of nice shots w/o other people in it even though you said it was crowded. :)

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