Kyoto’s Spiritual Wonder – Fushimi Inari
The well known images of the vermilion torii (shrine gates) that spread majestically across the landscape in Kyoto, is a draw for any tourist in Japan.
In fact the entire complex (with a total of five shrines, sprawled across the wooded slopes of Inari-san) is the must see sight within the region.
Travellers take a 4km mountain routine and along the way they come across dozens of atmospheric sub-shrines. During the day the walk fills one with a sense of spiritual awe.
However, a walk in the evening can turn rather more eerie as the sight of the various graveyards and miniature shrines seep into the psyche.
The Fushimi Inari actually date back to the 8th century. The original shrines were dedicated to the gods of rice and sake by the region’s Hata family.
As the role of agriculture to the local people diminished, shrines were created to worship deities in the hope to secure health and good business for the people of Kyoto.