Located about 2km south-east of Kyoto station, Fushimi Inari Taisha is without doubt the largest and most impressive shrine in Japan.
Fushimi Inari Taisha was founded in the 8th century by the Hata family and is the head shrine of no less than 30,000 branch shrines nationwide. The sancturay is composed of several buildings, including the Sakura-mon Gate and Go-Honden Shrine, followed by a 4km tunnel made of thousands of red gates making their way through the woods.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometers and takes approximately 2 hours to walk up.
Since early Japan, Inari was seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost, though, Inari is the god of rice.
This popular shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines throughout Japan.
Visiting Fushimi Inari Taisha in the late afternoon as the sun slowly sets can be a thrilling experience and is definitely recommended for those believing in the “spirits of the forest”.
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