I could tell you that we went to visit shrine Fushimi Inari because we want to pay tribute to Inari, the patron of merchants in Japan. In fact, each torii in the famed shrine in the base of the sacred Inari mountain is donated by business, each torii costing 400,000 to 1,000,000 yen, the donation proportional to the torii’s size. Statues of foxes abound the trails of toriis at Inari, the Shinto god of rice and sake. These foxes, or Kitsunes, are Inari’s messengers, holding in their mouths the key to the rice granaries. There are 5000 brightly painted toriis of different sizes in the seemingly unending picturesque trail, making it Kyoto’s most popular tourist destination.
Or I could tell you that I made sure we go here because I wanted to be young Sayuri, running under the toriis in Memoirs of A Geisha, except unlike the movie, this tourist area is packed. It’ll be quite difficult to run without bumping on somebody or getting almost decapitated by a selfie stick.
And then there is Jr, who innocently asks…
“Kailan tayo pupunta sa mga lapis?” (When are we going to the pencils?)
“Ahhh, the torii”
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine
Fukakusa Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
How we got there: Since we have a Kyoto City Bus pass, we rode bus #5 from Kyoto Station. It directly stops at Fushimi Inari Shrine