Trapped in the Thousands Torii Maze at Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社
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 – 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 – 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
Praying at Fushimi Inari Taisha
The best part – Torii Lining Footpath
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:
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
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 ^^