Editor’s note: I’ve had the great opportunity to visit Japan twice in the last five years, first in 2016 and again in 2018 and with the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo I wanted to revisit those trips and share some of the pictures that I may or may not have already.
The torii, an ornate post and lintel, is a traditional Japanese gate found marking the entrance to Shinto shrines. It is one of the most recognizable architectural features seen throughout Japan.
Shrines to Inari, the god of rice, are the most popular in Japan, and usually feature multiple torii. Inari is associated with foxes and prosperity.
The Fushimi Inari-taisha with its seemingly endless torii-lined path is one of the most popular shrines in Japan. It was founded in Kyoto in the 8th century at the base of a mountain also named for Inari. It’s known for its Senbon-no-torii, or 1,000 torii, donated by business owners hoping to have a wish come true or because one did.
It is extremely busy but there are numerous paths off the main walkway. There is a landing called Yotsu-Trujillo, which offers views of southern Kyoto. Continue the ascent and the Kami-no-Yashiro shrine is at the top of the summit (233m) of Mt. Inari. As I reached the top I noticed there were considerably fewer people and it was a breathtaking view.