Its iconic looks have been attracting millions of visitors every year, making Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine one of Japan’s most popular tourist spots.
The shrine’s grounds are expansive and of a complex layout that may seem a bit confusing at first glance. It consists of countless sub shrines, mounds for individual worship, cemeteries, statues, torii, and much, much more. There are even a couple of little inns where you can have a break recharging your batteries. Most visitors, however, just check out the Senbon Torii, the famous tunnel of thousand torii gates, that is close to the entrance.
Iconic Torii Gates
In 2005, the tunnel of torii served as a film set in the Hollywood movie “Memoirs of a Geisha.” This made it known to a whole new group of moviegoers and further bolstered its popularity. The place has been extremely busy the following years, usually getting packed with tourists by no later than 9:00am. In order to avoid that, you can either go super early or after sunset. At dark, its somewhat unearthly vibe makes for an interesting contrast to the hustle and bustle during the day (the shrine’s grounds are accessible 24/7, admission is free).
Fushimi Inari is served by two local rail stations: Inari on the JR Nara line and Fushimi-Inari on the Keihan main line. Both are just a few hops from their respective main hubs, Kyoto Station and Sanjo-Keihan.