I enjoyed walking on the winding path of Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. It’s not your ordinary footpath of concrete slabs. It’s a walkway under hundreds of red-orange torii that were erected continuously to create a magnificent tunnel-like trail that goes into a mountain, lush green gardens and smaller Shinto temples.
When I think of Kyoto, this image of Fushima Inari Taisha comes to mind. I love this place more than the most-celebrated and most-photographed Golden Pavilion in the city.
This is Senbon torii, the entrance of the thousand gates of Fushimi Inari Taisha. Those torii are grand and bloody orange. They’re smooth and shiny.
Though this winding path can be busy with foot traffic, silence can still be achieved. Visitors seem to know that it’s a holy place and they don’t talk too much when strolling under these torii.
What is a torii? A torii means gateway to Shinto temples. It has two columns on both sides and it is connected by two crosspieces in horizontal form.
When you go inside, the torii has Japanese characters on their upper part. The rest of the colomn is smooth clean.
When you get back, however, the torii are inscribed with Japanese characters.
The columns on the right side are inscribed with dates when the torii was added or erected.
The columns on the left side are inscribed with names of the donors, mostly from businessmen or companies.
, Inari is the Shinto god of rice.
If you have time to stay here, go up to the mountain which would take about two hours on foot. It’s 4 kilometers long. Not bad, eh?
There are small and big Shinto temples around and each has its own peculiarities.
If you’re lucky, there are prayers going on in one of these temples. Observe, not disturb.
Directions on how to get to Fushima Inari Taisha in Kyoto:
From Kyoto Station, take a train to JR Nara Line Inari Station. It’s a 7-minute ride. The Shinto temple is just outside the station. Follow the crown if you’re not sure.