Saturday, January 15, 2022

Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha)

The Fushimi Inari Shrine is certainly interesting. Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha) is sure an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is really indeed famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main important buildings. The so-called Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794.

A torii (Japanese: 鳥居, [to. ɾi. i]) is a traditional Japanese beautiful gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred. Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto has thousands of such torii, each bearing the donor's name.

Shinto (Japanese: 神道, romanized: Shintō) is certainly a religion which originated in the country of Japan.

The current de facto capital of Japan is Tokyo. In the course of human history, the national capital has been in many locations other than Tokyo.

Traditionally, the home of the Emperor is considered the capital. From 794 through 1868, the Emperor lived in Heian-kyō, modern-day Kyoto. After 1868, the seat of the Government of Japan and the location of the Emperor's home was moved to Edo, which it renamed Tokyo.

In 1941, the Ministry of Education published the "designation of Tokyo as capital" (東京奠都, Tōkyō-tento).

Fushimi Inari Shrine Description (English):

The Fushimi Inari Shrine is an important Shinto shrine in southern Kyoto. It is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its certain main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the so-called shrine grounds.

Fushimi Inari seems to be the most important of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. Fushimi Inari Shrine has old ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794.

There is a giant torii gate in front of the Romon Gate at the shrine's entrance.

The primary reason most foreign visitors come to Fushimi Inari Shrine seems to be to explore the mountain trails. However, the shrine buildings are also interesting. At the shrine's entrance stands the Romon Gate, which was donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Behind stands the shrine's main hall (honden) where visitors pay respect to the resident deity by making valuable offerings.

There is a torii gate-covered hiking trail, which starts with 2 dense, parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii ("thousands of torii gates"). The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate.

1 Japanese Yen equals 0.0088 United States Dollar

1 United States Dollar equals 114.24 Japanese Yen

The 2 dense rows of torii gates of Senbon Torii are interesting. The hike to the summit of the mountain and back seems to take about 2-3 hours. Along the way, there are multiple smaller shrines with stacks of miniature torii gates that were donated by visitors with smaller budgets. There are also a few restaurants along the way, which offer locally themed dishes such as Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon ("Fox Udon"), both featuring pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), said to be a favorite tasty food of foxes.

There is certainly an increase and decrease of the density of torii gates at various points. There is also the Yotsutsuji intersection roughly halfway up the mountain. The intersection shows great views over Kyoto. The trail also splits into a circular route to the summit. Hikers go as far as they want to explore the lands.

Fushimi Inari Shrine Description (Japanese):










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