Fushimi Inari Shrine: The Shrine of Ten Thousand Torii

Fushimi Inari, also known as The Temple of Red Gates, is a Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan. The shrine is dedicated to Inari, the deity of rice, harvest, and business and it is especially famous for its vermilion-colored torii gates called Senbon Torii (”Thousand Torii”).

Torii is a traditional Japanese gateway and they are common at the Shinto shrines. There is around 10.000 torii on the shrine grounds, and they are the donations of individuals, families, or companies that pray to Inari. If a person’s wish is granted, they donate a torii to the shrine to express their gratitude. Each of the torii includes the name of the donator and the date of the donation. This tradition dates back to the Edo period. These torii, since lined up in a row, resemble a tunnel and they lead up to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine sits on the slopes of Inari Mountain.

There are thousands of temples dedicated to Inari, however, Fushimi Inari is the head shrine and the construction of it began in 711.

fushimi inari shrine

Vermilion red is considered to be an amulet against evil, and is used in ancient shrines, temples, and palaces. At Fushimi Inari Shrine, the color also symbolizes the fruitful harvest that Inari grants.

fushimi inari shrine, torii gates

A massive Torii gate in front of the Romon gate

romon gate, fushimi inari shrine

According to belief, foxes are the messenger of Inari, that’s why there are many fox statues across the shrine grounds.

torii gates, fushimi inari shrine