The Fushimi-Inari Sanctuary
And its 10’000 tori
The Fushimi-Inari sanctuary is situated on the Inari Mountain that is the reason why the sanctuary is called the name we all know.
This is between tori vermillion that this huge and beautiful sanctuary extends on the Inari Mountain. The walk begins below with a Shinto temple following by the start of the little tori that lead us progressively to discover the big ones that are the point from where the climb to the Inari’s summit starts.
Throughout the rise, in the middle of the forest, those tori with huge trees that we progress accompany us, some times, in the middle of the forest. Once at the summit, this is a view over Kyoto and its surroundings that you will have. This is with our legs that we end up to conquer those thousand of steps.
Between day and twilight, you can choose when you would like to plenty live your visit at the Fushimi-Inari such the atmosphere of the daytime is not the same than the night. The access is full free.
My experience at the Fushimi-Inari Sanctuary
My visit at Fushimi-Inari was at the end of the day while my last day in Kyoto. My idea was to be in that place with less people all around, and it was the case. I wanted to be impregnated without having a big crowd because I am not at my ease in a crowd. And also, this is true that while I am in the temples, I like to take my time to feel in maximum all the good energy that reigns in order to be resourced.
Arrived at the end of the day with quite of lot of sun, except that the twilight came rapidly. Seeing the sunset from the summit of Inari Mountain was incredible especially in a mystical place. Nevertheless, I had to go down before it was too dark. Furthermore, I haven’t taken pictures at that time because of the luminosity so I went back to the other day, in the morning.
When I arrived, I was not expecting such a big crowd even in the morning. So, I started to take my pictures along the little tori because I didn’t have time to go up again to take pictures of the big ones (it will be for the next time), a train was waiting for me.
During my photo shoot, I could have not thought of having an opportunity to take picture of the part of the tori with nobody on my pictures.
How was happen? By going back up to find a place where they was nobody, I noticed another photograph, so I went next to him and we have been joined by another photograph. So we were 3, we have formed a barrier by blocking, thus, a group of people who was coming right behind us. This permitted me to take pictures that are on the article.
I wanted strongly visit that place despite of being very touristic. But when I arrived, I met people that talked to me the origins of the writing that we find on the tori, and when I heard that for the first time, I was quite disappointed.
After reflexion and having talked with local people, I realized that my first idea was completely wrong. Indeed, this is a donation that people or companies give to the sanctuary by giving tori in the belief of Shintoism bringing prosperity and gratitude to the person who gave it.
Contrary to my first idea I had at the beginning, I see this as a positive impact. The first idea is never certainly the good one.
Afterwards, this is a place I liked and I would have pleasure to see it again if I come back to Kyoto.
History of the Fushimi-Inari Sanctuary
Founded in 711 by HatanoIroko during the Nara Era in the period Wadò (708-715), the superficies of the Fushimi-Inari Sanctuary is of 870’000m2 that is the biggest sanctuary dedicated to the Inari goddess prayed to the richness, the chance and the prosperity.
The vermilion colour makes a reference to the soil, and also to the importance to the life and the faith. This colour is the origin of the colour of divinity of Chinese Taoism and is considered to be a powerful talisman.
From the Edo Era, people who have seen their wishes realized take the habit to give another tori to the sanctuary with the date, the name of the people or the group written behind the tori in Japanese that have financed the tori.
What are tori?
This is Japanese portal that we find at the entrance of a sanctuary Shintoism. It is says that when we traverse, we must go back in order to return in the real world because by crossing the portal we pass trough the spiritual world.
What did I like at Fushimi-Inari?
Principally, I liked the setting, and the fact that this sanctuary is in the forest and on a hill.
This is a place that inspires to the tranquillity, to a calmer approach and despite the touristic attract for that place. This is why I invite you to visit and like that place with your own feeling such I made it.
I stayed there in : September 2019
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Travel blogger and photographer from Switzerland.
I travel the world and with my photographs I show the beauty of the world in order to raise awareness to people about Planet Earth’s issues, and wildlife.