One must not skip when visiting Kyoto is this famous shrine. Been used for several famous movies scene, but I remember the movie Memoirs of Geisha as the best, maybe because you can still see the real Geisha / Maiko in Kyoto 😀
My suggestion is, come here very early in the morning, so you can take picture will less crowd. I know the other good spot is Arashiyama’s bamboo groove, which I suggest to visit in early morning too, so I think you should separate your visit to Fushimi Inari & Arashiyama in 2 different days.
If you have JR Pass, you can take JR Nara Line from Kyoto Station to Inari station. The shrine just opposite the station 🙂
This shrine worship Inari (god of rice in Shinto belief), and the fox is the Inari’s messenger, which is why you will see a lot of fox statues in the shrine complex.
Oh, no admission fee to enter the shrine 🙂 so just happily visit this shrine even when you’re on budget 😀
Okay, so in Japan when you visit shrine you will see those fountain water… I’ve visit so many shrines and temples but I don’t want to repeat it in each blog post, so here’s what you supposed to do (but I didn’t do… I don’t believe in it, and the water too cold…!) :
Take one of the ladles provided, fill it with fresh water and rinse both hands. Then transfer some water into your cupped hand, rinse your mouth and spit the water beside the fountain (or anywhere but don’t spit to the fountain…!!). You are not supposed to transfer the water directly from the ladle into your mouth or swallow the water. You will notice that quite a few visitors skip the mouth rinsing part or the purification ritual altogether (including me).
…first time I visit this shrine I don’t remember there are those origami. But well, that colorful thing is thousand origami cranes (usually made by those people who wishing someone to recover from illness… but I found those in Hiroshima atomic memorial site also, so I think it can be used to pray for other things than health recovery).
And this is the normal ema – small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshipers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami (spirits or gods) are believed to receive them. They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan’i (願意), meaning “wish”, written along the side. In ancient times people would donate horses to the shrines for good favor; over time this was transferred to a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse, and later still to the various wooden plaques sold today for the same purpose.
Ema are sold for various wishes. Common reasons for buying a plaque are for success in work or on exams, marital bliss, to have children, and health. Some shrines specialize in certain types of these plaques, and the larger shrines may offer more than one. Sales of ema help support the shrine financially.
Why a lot of goat /sheep in my photo above is because I visit on 2015… which is the goat year in Chinese zodiac… don’t ask me why it’s happening in Japan too :v
Yea there are some sakura trees around here also 😀 so lovely to see them everywhere during spring season (unless you have allergy to the pollen… ups)
Nah, what are the interesting spot from this shrine? It’s actually not the shrine itself but the mountain trails at the back of the shrine, where thousand of red torii gate covering the hiking trail.
you can find the map after the 2 intersection (which will unite again at the end). No pictures, too many people…
And… actually the gate are donation from the companies or individuals, 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. But I did find something else like the photo below… not sure what is that..
Actually to reach the top of the mountain, it will takes around 2 hours or more, so we didn’t continue since we have our itinerary quite packed that day. I read in the Japan Guide website there are some shop selling food along the way and the view from the top very nice (but well… maybe my 3rd visit I will continue until the top).
I recommend this place if you visit Kyoto 🙂 and please come early in the morning, because actually they don’t have opening time too, so as long as the sun rise already, just come~ remember that in Japan, around 6-7 pm usually everywhere closed alr ^^” b