Fushimi Inari Shrine

The best known of Kyoto’s shrines, Fushimi Inari is visually stunning: Thousands of torii gates form an unbroken tunnel of red, leading up to the crest of Mount Inari.

Oldest and most famous of all the Inari shrines in Japan, Fushimi Inari Taisha is, like the others, dedicated to the Shinto deity thought to protect the harvest and bring prosperity in business. In addition to the red torii gates, the shrine boasts thousands of fox statues – Inari’s messengers – and the tea houses and shops around the shrine sell delicacies associated with and named after foxes: inari-zushi and kitsune-udon.

Though popular with tourists and locals alike, Fushimi Inari Shrine maintains a sense of tranquillity, and we highly recommend leaving enough time to take the 4 kilometre torii-lined path leading up the mountain, which provides a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.