Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of the most important and well-known shrines in the old Japanese capital.
The shrine sits at the base of a mountain Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 km and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.
Fushimi Inari Taisha was founded in 711 but in 816 was re-located on the request of the monk Kūkai.
One of the symbols of this shrine- the red wooden Senbon torii gates (traditional Japanese gates). Along the main path there are around 10,000 torii gates.
The custom to donate a torii started to spread since the Edo period (1603-1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true. Even now, in 2018 you can donate some money (here is a “menu”) and get your own torii. The smallest one will cost 175,000 Japanese yen (1,550 US dollars) and the biggest one will cost only 1,302,000 Japanese yen (11,560 US dollars).
Of course, if you don’t have 1,550 dollars, you can get a keychain with a small torii for 10 dollars.
The main path takes over 4 km to walk up and there is a tradition- if you want your dream to come true, you have to go all the route (approximately 4 hours). Of course, we did it:)
You see, someone donated money for a new torii, it still without the black hieroglyphs.
This color called the Vermillion red. This color is considered an amulet against evil forces and is used in many ancient palaces, shrines, and temples. At Fushimi Inari Taisha, it is described as a color that expresses bountiful harvests that Inari Okami gives to Japan.
The pigment used for vermilion red buildings like this is made from mercury and red earth. This mixture has been used to preserve wood since ancient times.
The top of the Inari mountain and the view of Kyoto.
I saw 2-3 toriis with the Russian names and one torii with an Israeli name.
Enshrined Deity is a Honden- the main shrine building. Enshrined Deity contains five shrines together: a lower shrine, a middle shrine, an upper shrine and auxiliary shrines Tanaka Shrine and Shino Okami Shrine.
Shrine texts describe Fushimi Inari Taisha’s deity as “a deity who feeds, clothes and houses us and protects us so that all of us may live with abundance and pleasure” and “a deity who protects all people from the Emperor to the common people so that we all may live happily and with abundance.”
Today, Inari Okami is known as a deity of business prosperity, prosperity of industries, safety of households, safety in traffic and improvement in the performing arts.
There are many of kitsune (fox) statues regarded as the messengers, are often found in Inari shrines. One attribute is a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.
Do you remember 10-dollar-torii?;-)
For me, this place was one of the strongest impressions of Japan, the unique place where you can stay alone, where you can try to find yourself and answers your questions.
Nothing special- a combination of incompatible is one of the symbols of Japan, where you can eat the burgers next to shrine or drink your 7up in the middle of a sacred place.