Kyoto and the Torii tunnels of Fushimi Inari

Fushimi Inari

What is a tori? The tori is a traditional and spiritual Japanese gate. [Wikipedia definition]

Fushimi Inari is THE temple of toriis in Japan. The red gates are everywhere in the temple grounds – there are alleys of toriis, gatherings of toriis, solitary toriis and so on. Fushimi Inari is also a temple that is very prominent in my home’s lounge – a photo of the temple hangs on our wall and a mini-torii bought at the temple sits on our mantelpiece. However, I didn’t visit the temple until my second time in Kyoto. It is not considered one of the iconic Kyoto temples but I was happy to have finally visited it because it is one of the most photogenic and it also offers the opportunity for a little nature walk.

Fushimi Inari (time for a small cultural education…) is also the oldest Shinto shrine of Kyoto (dating from 711) and is the head of all the Japanese temples dedicated to Inari (the god of rice, and also of prosperity and success). All the toriis are built by the worshippers of Inari to thank the god for their success in business. We also saw a lot of statues of foxes, who are the messengers of Inari, and who are often sculpted with the key to the rice reserves in their mouths.

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Voyagista’s Tips

  • Access from Inari Station on the JR Nara Line. You can also take the Keihan Main Line and stop at Fushimi Inari Station.

  •  A souvenir idea: a mini torii with your names inscribed in katakana. We bought ours at Yotsutsuji (at the temple path intersection that offers a nice view of Kyoto).

  •  The small walk takes around 2 hours if you climb to Yotsutsuji. You will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of Kyoto. Continuing the walk and climbing to the summit of the mountain is probably not that appealing after already seeing a lifetime’s worth of toriis…

  •  Don’t miss the Senbon Torii: two galleries of toriis lined up next to each other offering a great photo opportunity.

Have you already been to Fushimi Inari or is it on your list of things to do during your upcoming trip to Kyoto?

Fushimi Inari Kyoto


  1. These traditional gates are so lovely! The color is beautiful and vibrant against the natural background!

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