Torii pillar wooden names Kyoto Japan

Japan: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Date: 23rd March, 2015

I spent yesterday exploring the shopping areas of Kyoto city center, but today, I planned to see the big attractions. First on my itinerary was a visit the famous Fushimi Inari-taisha temple.

Kyoto city pavement Japan
I walked to Kyoto station, which is just 15 minutes from Shiori-an Guesthouse
Kyoto station panorama Japan
That’s Kyoto station, panorama style
Kyoto station Nara line Japan
It’s very easy to get to the shrine by train. Just buy a ¥140 ticket to Fushimi Inari Station and hop on a train on the JR Nara line.
Kyoto river stream Japan
The train ride to Inari station takes less than 10 minutes. It’s the very next stop.
Fushimi Inari entrance from station
And as soon as you exit JR Inari station, voila! That’s the entrance to Fushimi Inari-taisha
Fushimi Inari-taisha entrance
There is no entrance fee
Fushimi Inari-taisha map Japan
Here is a map of the Fushimi Inari-taisha. There are a few temples below but as you climb the mountain, you will walk through the famous red-ish, orange (vermillion?) wooden pillar gates (called toriis in Japanese) all the way to the top.
Fushimi Inari red temples Kyoto
Everything is of the same colour, including the temples
Fushimi Inari wolf statue Kyoto
Fushimi Inari is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. As per their mythology, foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers. So you will see many fox statues across the shrine and up the mountain
Fushimi-inari taisha tourists Japan
Okay, let the climbing commence!

Fushimi Inari wooden pillar gates
At first, these are the toriis you will see
Fushimi Inari torii fox statue Kyoto
These toriis aren’t where Fushimi Inari is photographed the most
Fushimi inari small torii Kyoto Japan
This section of smaller toriis makes for far more popular photography
Fushimi Inari small torii Japan
But it’s not easy to photograph from inside. I only had a split second to take a photo of the pathway with either one tourist or none.
Fushimi Inari torii gate Japan
I decided to move on and capture more photos in the smaller section on the way back
Fox messages Inari temple Kyoto
Fox cards you can draw on I guess
Fushimi Inari torii side Kyoto Japan
From the side
Fushimi Inari torii from above Kyoto
From the top
Fushimi Inari downhill Kyoto Japan
You will climb down
Fushimi Inari forest Kyoto Japan
And climb up. Mostly up.
Fushimi Inari broken torii Kyoto
Oh, if you haven’t guessed, the toriis are made using wood
Fushimi Inari torii writing Kyoto
If you think the torii pillars are clean red, they’re not. They are each inscribed with the names of the people who sponsor them. But you have to face them in the other direction to see it
Fushimi Inari stream hill steps
Look to the side of the trail and you may see a stream flowing downhill
Fushimi Inari cemetery tribute Kyoto
As you climb up, you will see multiple smaller shrines and sculptures donated by worshipers
Kitsune sculptures Fushimi Inari Kyoto
The foxes are always looking over you as you trek up the mountain
Fushimi Inari taisha lake Kyoto Japan
If you want to relax and take a break, this lake is certainly one of the best spots for it
Fushimi inari gates Kyoto Japan
I resumed my journey uphill
Fushimi inari shrine hill Kyoto Japan
Even though I hate steps, I had some desire in me to reach the top of the mountain.
Rest stop Fushimi Inari Kyoto Japan
Thankfully there are rest stops along the way. Some are eateries but there are public toilets and benches along the way.
Parent carrying child climbing Fushimi Inari
Lucky kid!
Kyoto city view from Fushimi Hill
Halfway up the mountain, there is a viewpoint where you get panoramic views of Kyoto city
Fushimi Inari hill map Kyoto Japan
Still more to climb
Cat drinking temple water Japan
Cats up here enjoy some chilled shrine water
Private tsuka Fushimi Inari Kyoto
I kept my camera away, so that I could climb quicker and after 15 minutes, I finally made it to the top
Top of mountain Fushimi Inari Kyoto
Yay, I made it! 233 metres high.
Shrine top of Fushimi Inari mountain Japan
So what’s up here? A shrine…
Fushimi Inari taisha tsuka Kyoto
And smaller tribute toriis all stacked up
Going down Fushimi Inari mountain Kyoto Japan
After a short break, I began the descent
Fushimi Inari mountain forest Japan
I went back down another path
Stores Fushimi Inari taisha Kyoto
I would still make brief stops wherever there was a store to give my feet some rest
Fox fountain Fushimi Inari temple
There are serene spots galore on this mountain
Fushimi Inari torii sponsored Japan
On the way back, you will see all the scriptures on the toriis. To sponsor one of these toriis costs a minimum of ¥400,000 and most are paid for by businesses hoping for good fortune and prosperity.
Viewpoint Fushimi Inari Kyoto
I made it back to the viewpoint

I sat down for a while and had something to eat as it was nearing lunchtime.

Kyoto city from Fushimi Inari mountain
Shot this using the 70-200mm lens. No skyscrapers in Kyoto. Wondering if its because no investor wants to take a risk after the 1992 Kobe earthquake.
Kyoto city panoramic view Fushimi mountain
I took out my phone to take some snaps
Mithun Divakaran selfie Kyoto Japan
Took a selfie since I hardly take any photos of myself
Kimono girls tourists Kyoto Japan
I resumed my walk back down
Inscribings Fushimi Inari torii Kyoto
I wonder if all these donors are themselves responsible for the maintenance of their torii
Torii Fushimi inari taisha Japan
I was trying different ways to photograph the toriis
Outside torii Fushimi Inari Kyoto Japan
Another panorama I took from a spot with some open space on the side
Torii pillar wooden names Kyoto Japan
There are around 10,000 such torii on this mountain
Fushimi Inari halls Kyoto Japan
I was back at the small torii section, known as Senbon Torii
Torii inscriptions Fushimi Inari taisha
It was still crowded but I patiently waited for a chance to take photos with as few tourists in the frame as possible
Gap between torii Kyoto Japan
This is how little the gap is in between toriis
Fushimi Inari taisha wooden pillar hall
I turned around when I noticed, for a split second, the hallway was clear of tourists
Mithun Divakaran selfie Fushimi inari
But it wasn’t long the tourists came back into frame. I took one more selfie and decided to leave.
Tourists Fushimi Inari temple Kyoto
I made it back out. You’ll need a minimum of 2 hours if you want to climb all the way up to the top and back down. That said, I’d suggest only making it up to the viewpoint, because you don’t see anything substantial at the top of the mountain (honestly, it’s a hill)
JR Fushimi station Kyoto Japan
That’s the JR Fushimi Inari station. It’s that close to Fushimi Inari shrine entrance.
Fushimi ward street Kyoto Japan
I didn’t feel like leaving just yet, so I walked around to see a bit of Fushimi ward
Fushimi street food line Japan
Fushimi certainly benefits from tourism
Railway crossing Fushimi Japan
I didn’t really know where I was going. I just walked… like I always do.
Railway track Kyoto Japan
I’m guessing this is the inter-city line?
Flower shop Fushimi Kyoto Japan
The smaller towns of Japan have a nice charm to it that I really love
Fushimi ward road signal Japan
I was at another railway crossing
Fushimi local trains station Kyoto
Another train line I suppose
Fushimi town Kyoto Japan
One thing I noticed while walking around Fushimi — not as many young people out and about. Is it because many of them are in Kyoto for work? I saw a lot more seniors though
Cycle parking Fushimi Japan
The cycle support infrastructure is very impressive in Japan. To the left is a free type of parking space and to the right is a paid parking spot
Fushimi town Lawson Kyoto Japan
I decided to head back to Fushimi station. I dropped by the Lawson convenience store, picked up a croquette and walked back.
Rail crossing road Fushimi Kyoto
I was in awe of how neatly designed the roads are
Fushimi train to Kyoto
I ate my Croquette and had something to drink before boarding the train

Back in Kyoto city, I would visit Kinkaku-ji, Kyomizu Dera and at night, Gion Corner — but all that’s in the next post.

Next posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015: Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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