In Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Shrine

The Fushimi Inari Shrine. An incredible place that I had wanted to see for many years and I must say it didn’t disappoint. Sitting at the bottom of the Inari mountain starts the two hour meandering path up the mountain to the main shrine 233 meters above sea level. Inari is seen as the patron of business so the gates are donated by businesses for good luck an fortune in its endeavours. It is said that there are over 5,000 torii (gates) along the path which is incredible. As you walk it you don’t even realise how many there are. I did the entire trail and I thought there were hundreds not thousands! These are just some of 40,000 gates all over japan.phoebegill161024008Although it’s not a particularly strenuous climb the heat makes it more difficult and in Summer months it gets unbearably hot in Japan. In October it was about 24 degrees, which for an Irish girl was hot enough! Bring  water as at the top of the mountain I found that I had none left but there are vending machines at the main shrine so you wont shrivel from dehydration. phoebegill161024144Foxes are seen to be the messengers of the shrine so there are fox statues dotted around the sites. I really feel like this place was a good fit for me because not only are there foxes, my favourite little woodland creature, Inari is the god of rice and I love rice a lot, as in I’d like it for every meal. In all seriousness, this area is beautiful and peaceful, even with the mass of people, it was just so incredible that the first thing I do in Japan is seeing this fantastic site. phoebegill161024192It doesn’t have closing times and is free to explore. Go early and enjoy this incredible place. I noticed on the way down to the exit there were a lot more people so if you want a selfie with a free path you aren’t going to get it at lunch time. Also as the walk takes 2-3 hours in total go early to make the most of your day!