Ever since watching the scene in Memoirs of a Geisha where young Chiyo is seen running through the bright orange torii gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha, we absolutely could not wait to visit the historical site one day for ourselves. Fushimi Inari-taisha is said to house over 10,000 torii gates, with each gate donated by a company in hopes of prosperity and good fortunes in the future. Aside from the noteworthy path of lined gates that draw thousands of visitors each week, the grounds of Fushimi Inari-taisha is also home to multiple shrines, graveyards, and little shops and food vendor booths. The path of the vermilion torii gates also leads to Mt. Inari and offers the most breathtaking views along the way to the summit. In case you were curious, Inari is the god of rice!
We actually were not very prepared with our attire for a 2-3 hour hike, so we turned around a little less than the halfway point to use the rest of our day exploring other parts of Kyoto we had not touched yet. If you do plan on spending a bit of time here, we definitely recommend spraying on some mosquito repellent, since we noticed there were a ton of mosquitoes in the dense, woodsy areas of the trail and suffered a bit toward the end of our visit. It definitely gets very busy here as you can imagine at one of Japan's most visited hotspots, so we recommend coming a bit early for some extra peace and quiet. We actually came to Fushimi-Inari-taisha twice, once in the mid-afternoon, and then again early the next morning. Talk about night and day with the crowds (in case you were wondering how we were able to get such empty shots)! Luckily, this famous site is only a 15 minute rail ride away from the main Kyoto station and is extremely accessible, giving you lots of flexibility in your site-seeing schedule!