Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto & How to Have the Perfect Experience

by | Mar 25, 2024 | 0 comments

The Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is one of the top things to see in Kyoto, Japan. Unfortunately, top tourist destinations mean lots of tourists and a less-than-ideal experience.

In this guide, I tell you how to have the perfect experience at Fushimi Inari Shrine and answer all your questions about one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, Japan.

hiking fushimi inari shrine in japan

What Is Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, Japan?

Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the iconic places in Kyoto you must visit. It’s known as the temple famous for 10,000 torii gates because there are thousands of bright orange torii gates leading all the way to the top of Inari Mountain. Plus, it’s a free activity in Kyoto!

While the earliest Fushimi Inari Shrine was built at a different location in the year 711, the current site and structures were initially built in 1499.

Hiking to the top takes about 1.5 hours, then another 1-1.5 hours to go back down. It’s a staircase and paved paths all the way to the top, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water.

RELATED POST: The Best Japanese Ryokan in Kyoto (And Why You Must Stay in One)

fushimi inari torii gate shrine kyoto japan

When to Go to the Fushimi Inari Shrine to Beat the Crowds?

If you’re determined to beat the crowds, the earlier you go, the better.

Technically it’s open 24 hours, so you could go as early as you want, but the shops won’t be open until 9am. Be sure to use the bathroom at the entrance of the shrine before the hike—I don’t remember seeing any on the mountain.

Either way, it’s likely to be very crowded in the gates on the lower part of the mountain. The further up you hike the less people and the better opportunities for iconic photos! It’s definitely worth going up, up up!

shine of 10000 torii gates japan

How to Get to Fushimi Inari Shrine From Kyoto?

Fushimi Inari is about a 9 minute train ride from Kyoto Station.

Go to the JR train line in the Kyoto Station and take a local train on the Nara Line platform. Express trains don’t stop at the Fushimi Inari Taisha station, so you must get on a local train!

Once you arrive at the Fushimi Inari train station, the temple is directly in front of the station exit/entrance.

fox statues at fushimi inari shrine

What Are the Fushimi Inari Shrine Fox Statues?

During your Fushimi Inari hike, you’ll notice black fox statues all along the way, and even entire shrines with foxes wearing red bibs. This is because it is an inari shrine and Inari is a deity associated with foxes. Worshippers typically visit an Inari Shrine for household wellbeing or prosperity in general.

The Inari statues typically show up in pairs, representing a male and female. They may hold a key, scroll or jewel in their mouths or under their paws. There are many Inari shrines across Japan with the orange/red torii gates and fox statues.

walking in fushimi inari shrine

Fushimi Inari Shrine FAQ

How Many Tori Gates Are at Fushimi Inari?

There are said to be 10,000 Tori gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, though it’s approximately 800 gates along the main path.

How Long Is Fushimi Inari Hike?

The Fushimi Inari hike is approximately 2.5 miles to the top, which takes around 2 hours.

What Do I Bring to Fushimi Inari?

Dress appropriate for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring a water bottle and snacks or bring cash to buy at one of the shops along the hike.

What to Wear at Fushimi Inari to Make Your Photos POP!

I recommend wearing something light blue that will really pop amongst the vermillion torii gates. I really wanted to recreate the run through the gates from Memoirs of a Geisha (as you can see in the photos) and I love how the photos came out with a flowy dress!

What Time Does Fushimi Inari Open?

Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto is open 24 hours but the shops do not open until 9am.

hike to fushimi inari shrine in kyoto

Is Fushimi Inari Worth It?

Absolutely! This is one of the most iconic shrines in Japan and a fun outing to enjoy fresh air and get some exercise.

What’s the Best Way to Travel From Tokyo to Kyoto?

Shinkansen bullet train is the fastest and most convenient way to travel from Tokyo to Kyoto to explore Fushimi Inari and everything else Kyoto has to offer! The bullet train time Tokyo to Kyoto is roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes.

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