Fushimi Inari Taisha or Shrine is the most important shrine dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. Several locals visit Fushimi Inari to pray for prosperity for their businesses. Tourist, however, visit this shrine for its visual appeal. Personally, I think it’s one of Kyoto’s most beautiful sights. It’s hard not to be when it’s got thousands of vermillion torii gates along its trails, leading up the mountain to Fushimi Inari’s various shrines. It’s literally a photographer’s dream.
Each torii gate was donated by individuals and companies. Because I’m Chinese, I could read a few of the words written on the gates. They’re basically names of donors and dates of when the donation was made. A lot of tourists visit this place not just for the torii gates but primarily, to hike up the sacred Mount Inari for 2-3 hours and enjoy the view from there. We opted not to do the hike though. Visitors are free to turn back any time they want so we probably just covered 1/3 of the trail. If you have enough time, I highly recommend doing the hike. I’m sure the view is worth it!