Once our luggages sent to Kyoto Century Hotel, we took the train from Jr Kyoto Station to Jr Inari to visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, also known as “O-inari-san” to Japanese people. It took us between 5 – 10 minutes before arriving at one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. The head shrine of god Inari, sits at the base of a mountain named Inari. Inari means the god of rice. My mind automatically remembered the inari sushi (deep-fried tofu filled with sushi rice) served at Sushi King back home.
More people walking through the first Tori gate towards Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto.
The crowd as at 10 am. It is an open secret the best time to visit the Fushimi Inari Taisha is early in the morning.
The path leading to the main shrine was lined by the Japanese lanterns.
The Japanese people believes the Fushimi Inari Taisha is sacred. So one has to perform this ablution by scooping the water from the well with the wooden ladle by rinsing your left hand, then your right hand and then your mouth. Then you rinse both hands by positioning the ladle to 90 degree angle.
Inside the main shrine, there were bags of rice with wooden post that indicates the donor of the rice.
The pavilion at the main shrine
After praying, the hand would pull the white and red clothes so as to ring the bell above.
The scene of the famous Memoir of Geisha film was very crowded when we arrived. It was almost impossible to find a space of your own and every shot taken would also be photobombed by the tourists or pilgrims.At the beginning of the walk through the vermillion-coloured tori gates, I felt suffocated with the crowd. Nearly stepped on feet of the those in front me. Take this advice from me, visit early in the morning to avoid annoying crowd. Otherwise, you’ve got to explore the outer shrines which take 2 hours to complete. Each of the tori gates was donated by businessmen. The words written on the tori gates comprise of the name of the donor. At the starting point, there’s a stall for kimono rental (hint: memoir of geisha) and to buy the religious souvenirs.
The split second when the crowd disappeared. They came back the next second.
The small tori gates were sold for the guests to write on their prayers.
There was a food street where you can satisfy your hunger after visiting the Fushimi Inari Taisha. Must try the Inari Sushi!
1) West Japan Railway Company (JR) – Just outside the Inari Station on the Nara Line
2) Keihan Electric Railway – Short walk from Fushimi-Inari Station on the Main Line.
The above is written in conjunction to a familiarization trip courtesy of Kansai Gastronomy Tourism Promotion Council Office, Japan Railway Company, Keihan Group, Don Quijote Group, Sakai Tourism and Convention Bureau, and Wendy Tour.