If there’s one thing you absolutely must do when visiting Kyoto, it’s take a trip out to see the great, majestic Fushimi Inari Shrine. Made famous by the thousands of brilliant orange torii gates found there, Ty and I found ourselves at Japan’s most iconic Shrine in the late afternoon on our last day in Kyoto.
The air was crisp, and the atmosphere was electric as hordes of tourists eagerly made their way from Inari Station to the front (and largest) torii gate. Fushimi Inari Shrine’s unique, magical and enchanting appeal dawned on us as immediately as we first saw it. Something about it seemed so peaceful, too, and reminiscent of old-world Japan. It was almost as if we’d stepped back in time.
Immediately, the vastness of the Shrine dawned on us, and we realised, with only a few hours of sunlight left, that we had quite a mission ahead of us. We quickly broke free of the crowds and made our way behind the central shrine to the crisscrossing pathways that snake their way deep into the heavily wooded forest of Mount Inari. We let the orange torii gates guide our way and spent a good little while trekking deeper and deeper into the forest.
Without the warmth of the sun, I can’t even tell you how cold it grew, and before long we were too cold to forge ahead any further. So we did as any tourists would do – tried to find a pathway free of others for a few iconic photos – and made our way back down to the Shrine. Just preceding dusk, the area was a lot quieter than when we first arrived and somehow it seemed even more wonderful.
Fushimi Inari Shrine certainly is a sight to behold. It’s free, only 5 minutes from Kyoto Station and literally hours can be spent exploring the Shrines and torii guided pathways up through the forest to sacred Mount Inari above. Looking back, I wish I had have taken more photographs (I took 20 in total, 10 of which are shown here, which is completely unheard of for me!) but the truth was, it was far too cold to keep pulling my hands out from my pockets just for the sake of a few more photos. We will always have our memories, and at the end of the day, that’s all you can really ask for.
Have you ever visited Japan? Is Fushimi Inari Shrine on your “must see” list?
Thanks so much for reading! XO