Fushimi Inari Taisha

The Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto is one of my most favourite places to visit in japan. I can spend an entire day and more wandering about the cast complex.

Inari is a popular deity with shrines and Buddhist temples located throughout most of Japan. According to a 1985 survey by the National Association of Shinto Shrines, 32,000 shrines — more than one-third of Shinto shrines in Japan — are dedicated to Inari. This number includes only Shinto shrines with full-time resident priests; if small roadside or field shrines, shrines kept in a home or corporate office, smaller shrines without full-time resident priests, and Buddhist temples were included, the number would increase by at least an order of magnitude.

Since early Japan, Inari has been seen as the patron of business, and merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshipped Inari. Each of the torii gates at Fushimi Inari Taisha is donated by a Japanese business. First and foremost, though, Inari is the god of rice.  Inari shrines are usually adorned by statues of Foxes (kitsune), as they are regarded as the messengers of Inari. They are often depicted with a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.

Unlike most other Shinto shrines, the Fushimi Inari Taisha, in keeping with typical Inari shrines, has an open view of the main idol object (a mirror).