Trapped in the Thousands Torii Maze at Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

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Last week, I and 3 lovely friends traveled around Kyoto. We have experienced Maiko Transformation Experience and battled with Ninja in Toei Kyoto Studio Park and I introduced them in my previous posts.

Of course that’s not all of our journey. Guess where are we going today?!

 

Torii Torii Torii Torii……. Stop Mercedes! You have been saying this for 2 days!

 

Alright, YES! We are going to the head shrine of Inari (God of rice) in Japan – the Fushimi Inari Taisha!!! 伏見稲荷大社!!

Applauseeeeeee~~~~~ (Auch! I know it’s written on the title! Don’t boo ><)

 

What is Fushimi Inari Taisha?

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha – is the head shrine of Inari, located at Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine founded in 711, and became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965 Emperor Murakami decreed that messengers carry written accounts of important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Inari Shrine.

From 1871 through 1946, Fushimi Inari-taisha was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.

Usually shrines have only few Torii, here in Fushimi Inari Taisha, you will see thousands of Torii (lit. bird perch, is a traditional Japanese gate commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine). How many Torii do you think it has?

 

It’s around 3,300!!
(1 Japanese did count it 1 by 1 and posted his report online )

 

Why are there so many Torii?

First, we need to understand the meaning of Inari kami (god).

Inari Ōkami (稲荷大神, also Oinari) – is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and Sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto.

Therefore, merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. That’s why we can find many Torii donated by those who have been successful in business, with their names and donated dates on it.


Torii

Torii – is a traditional Japanese gate commonly seen at the entrance or within Shinto shrines. The meaning of Torii is to mark the entrance to a sacred place.

To conclude, successful businessmen in gratitude donate Torii to Inari, kami of fertility and industry.

 

but why do they donate Torii, not something else?
Isn’t that Torii is just a traditional Japanese gate?

 

hmm…I couldn’t find the answer. Please share with me if you know the answer. Thanks 🙂

 

Access to Fushimi Inari Taisha:

Opening hour : Anytime (It can be dark and scary at night)
Entrance fee    : Free
Access               : Take JR train from Kyoto station to Inari station (10 min)

 

Overview of Fushimi Inari Taisha

Inari Station. The nearest station to the Fushimi Inari Taisha, is designed with red Torii style.

Inari Station. The nearest station to the Fushimi Inari Taisha, is designed with red Torii style.

Fushimi Inari Taisha entrance. This is where you will see once you got out from the Inari station.

Fushimi Inari Taisha entrance. This is where you will see once you got out from the Inari station.

Fushimi Inari Taisha entrance without Shen lol

Fushimi Inari Taisha entrance without Shen lol

Fushimi Inari Taisha entrance

Romon (楼門, lit. tower gate) is said to be built by Toyoda Hideyoshi in 1589.

Romon (楼門, lit. tower gate) is said to be built by Toyoda Hideyoshi in 1589.

I found some lanterns hung on the eave. They are beautiful aren't they?

I found some lanterns hung on the eave. They are beautiful aren’t they?

Lanterns at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Lanterns at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Foxes (kitsune), regarded as the messengers, are often found in Inari shrines. One attribute is a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.

Foxes (kitsune), regarded as the messengers, are often found in Inari shrines. One attribute is a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.

Foxes and Torii, 2 signs of Inari Shrines

Foxes and Torii, 2 signs of Inari Shrines

Foxes everywhere!

Foxes everywhere!

O-mikuji (おみくじ o-mikuji) are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan.

O-mikuji (おみくじ o-mikuji) are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan.

It seems to be Torii version of Omikuji. :)

It seems to be Torii version of Omikuji. 🙂

 

Praying at Fushimi Inari Taisha

A chōzuya or temizuya (手水舎) is a Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu.

A chōzuya or temizuya (手水舎) is a Shinto water ablution pavilion for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu.

Girls get some purification lol

Girls get some purification lol

Nirei-nihaku-ichirei (二礼二拍一礼, lit. 2 bows 2 claps 1 bow, is the way to greet the god in shrines)

Nirei-nihaku-ichirei (二礼二拍一礼, lit. 2 bows 2 claps 1 bow, is the way to greet the god in shrines)

First shake the bell, then practice Nirei-nihaku-ichirei.

First shake the bell, then practice Nirei-nihaku-ichirei.

 

The best part – Torii Lining Footpath

The entrance of the Torii lining footpath. We were a bit disappointed when we saw the color fading out, but it turned out that it was just the beginning of the Torii maze!

The entrance of the Torii lining footpath. We were a bit disappointed when we saw the color fading out, but it turned out that it was just the beginning of the Torii maze!

The biggest Torii. There are different size of torii depending on how much you donate.

The biggest Torii. There are different size of torii depending on how much you donate.

So hard to take a photo while everybody is proceeding.

So hard to take a photo while everybody is proceeding.

The donated date is stated on 1 side of the Torii.

The donated date is stated on 1 side of the Torii.

On another side, donators' names are stated.

On another side, donators’ names are stated.

On the way going up to the mountain, you will only see plain red Torii. But when you look back, you will find characters on the Torii :)

On the way going up to the mountain, you will only see plain red Torii. But when you look back, you will find characters on the Torii 🙂

I thought it was over...it was just a short break >"<

I thought it was over…it was just a short break >”<

When I look down at the path I went through, It's like this

When I look down at the path I went through, It’s like this

Once you get through the first biggest Torii path, you will see a cute forked road, leading you to the small Torii path ^^

Once you get through the first biggest Torii path, you will see a cute forked road, leading you to the small Torii path ^^

Then you will find the big torii path again. Endless!

Then you will find the big torii path again. Endless!

Well I tried to take that photo but it seems to be a failure lol

Well I tried to take that photo but it seems to be a failure lol

The small lantern is cute isn't it? :)

The small lantern is cute isn’t it? 🙂

 

How much for 1 Torii donation?

Since somebody counted that the number of Torii in Fushimi Inari Taisha is over 3,300, and it’s increasing, you must be wondering how much for donating 1 Torii.

There are 6 different size of Torii can be donated to the Fushimi Inari Taisha:

The sizes and prices of different Torii donation.

The sizes and prices of different Torii donation.

No5      175,000 yen
No6      383,000 yen
No7      482,000 yen
No8      708,000 yen
No9      826,000 yen
No10    1,302,000 yen

Source: Fushimi Inari Taisha official website

There is no mention about the real size for each number. Sorry I can’t help. Try to contact them if you are interested in donating Torii. 😉

How do you feel about the spot? What kind of information would you like to know upon choosing a spot to visit in Kyoto? Let me know and I will try to include it in next post ^^

Shen Lim
A Chinese Malaysian, Blogger, Vlogger on YouTube, Tour Guide in Japan. He believes 1 day his videos can bring Japan and Malaysia together. マレーシア華人、ブロガー、YouTubeクリエイター、日本にいるツアーガイドです。いつか自分の動画は日本とマレーシアを繋げる架け橋になると信じています。 Read more ABOUT him.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Akina

    お稲荷さん行かれたんですね、
    初めて観る人には、こういう風に見えてるんだなーって画像を通して感じました(╹ω╹ )
    それに普段お参りする時に、鳥居を下からのアングルで見ることはないので新鮮でした。
    写真、いい仕事されてますね

    個人的にお稲荷さんといえば、鳥居よりも、
    あの山を一周するしんどさの方が先立ちます笑
    次に時間があれば、鳥居がずっと続くあの参道のコースを制覇してみて下さい
    筋肉痛になることをお約束します笑(*・〜・*)

    ちなみに、お稲荷さんではすずめの丸焼きが売っていますが、
    気づいたでしょうか(๑╹◡╹)ノ

      1. Akina

        昔ながらの、すずめ(sparrow)の丸焼きが有名です

        ※すずめは豊作の象徴である稲の大敵とされており、昔の人が日本各地にあった稲を食い荒らすすずめを退治するために「すずめの丸焼き」が生まれたと伝えられています。 (検索先のサイトから引用です)

        私自身は食べたこともないですし、食べたいとも思いませんが、
        機会があれば挑戦してみて下さい笑

          1. Akina

            チャレンジャーですね笑
            あの愛らしい姿が丸焼けになってるのを、見ること自体が忍びなく。。多分、お稲荷さん以外で見ることはないと思うので、故郷が恋しくなった時には是非食べに行って下さい笑

            日曜のお昼に祇園四条へ行ってきたんですが、床(鴨川納涼床)が出てましたね
            夜にライトが点くころの、あの雰囲気が素敵ですよね(๑╹ ◡ ╹ )

          2. Leong Shen Lim

            貴重な情報をありがとうございました^^あきなさんのお陰でこれからいろんな体験ができそうですね

            そうですか?連絡してくれたら会いに行ったのに@@また今度教えて下さいね 🙂

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