Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Japan and is known for its thousands of closely-spaced vermillion torii gates that cover the slopes of Inariyama, so thick in places that they form long tunnels. It is estimated that there are well over 10,000 such torii gates.
Fushimi Inari Taisha dates from 711 and the main shrine building was built in 1499.
Inari shrines honor the patron deities of agriculture and business including Ukanomitama-no-Mikito (the goddess of rice and food), ensuring a constant stream of worshippers and the individual torii are donated by merchants and businesses hoping for successful trading. The prolonged downturn in the Japanese economy has not discouraged numerous firms looking for help from the spirits and many pay the large fees to sponsor a torii.
The shrine grounds are also a favorite route for local local joggers. For more sedentary visitors, soba noodles and beer are available near the summit of the hill.
There are many small concrete statues around the Fushimi Inari of (kitsune) - the fox messenger-animal of Inari.
Free Admission; Fushimi Inari station (Keihan Line) or JR Inari station from Kyoto station.
Map of Fushimi Inari
Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan