Japan, Kansai
Comments 27

Dirty side of Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kyoto

Kyoto, touristic mega town! And this shrine draws even more people. While I work on my blog admin, I realised that I haven’t written anything about Kyoto besides my maiko experience. This place is so well covered anyways. How about I just talk about the dirty stuff.

Do not be fooled by those beautiful epic spacious, peaceful photos. The movie Memoir of Geisha has immortalised this place. The reality is that there are literately 1000 people next to you at any given time attempting to replicate the same shot. It is anything but tranquil.


This shrine has cult status with the local business crown. Deity Inari (fox demon) promises great fortune. Apparently, many people have their wishes granted. I guess it is something that you’ll find out after you pay JPY500 for one of these wish boards?

The infamous endless rows of Tori, well, is actually expensive marketing / prayers from businesses. Local individuals or businesses pay for these tori. The prices are CRAZY. A tiny tori (like a desk top size) starts at JPY 175,000. These large ones? JPY708,000 and upwards. Prices varies depending on the positions. The ones close to the temple or the entrance? Those are priced well beyond JPY 1,000,000. They have a price list on display. You just need to keep your eyes open to spot this lucrative board 😉



  • If you have arachnophobia, try not to look up or between the tori.
  • Besides people, there’s TONS of mosquitoes okay. Unless you visit when it is snowing, spray yourself with industrial strength mosquito repellent. Those mosquito spray from the local Japanese convenient store just won’t cut it.
  • Do not visit on 1st January. Tons of locals and foreigners, even more crazy than normal. If you do want to see this crowd, visit at your own risk.
  • There’re people everywhere. The higher up you go, the less people.
  • Be prepared to wait for your clean shot. I do mean WAIT.
  • Visit it when it is about to close to avoid the crowds 😉

Fushimi Inari Taisha-0712.JPGWhere was I?

Fushimi Inari-taisha (Shrine), Kyoto

伏見稲荷大社Fushimi Inari Taisha-0744.JPGIs Fushimi Inari Taisha worth a visit? If it is your first time in Japan, it is worth the stress. Otherwise, I feel that it is too crowded to be enjoyable.


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Photos are from several trips. I do regret not taking the 1000 people shot though. Those photos are way more interesting.

Fushimi Inari Taisha-0714.JPG

The shrine was closed, that’s why there was no human in sight 😉


  1. Wonderful images and story and tips Joyce. I never got to Fushimi Inari Taisha but always planned to “next time”. I like your tip about the higher you go at temples and shrines the less people, spot on . The best time we had was at Yamadera, no-one left but us after about 800 steps.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent advice. It’s nice too see someone talk about the dirty side of the popular Japanese sights. You forgot one: if you go in the fall when the gingko nuts (?) are on the ground and getting squashed, it really stinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad that you liked it 😄 I was a lottle nervous.

      You’re totally right about the nuts, I need to add that. I have no idea what nuts they are. I only recall them being pungent. Thank you for the advise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nah, don’t be nervous about telling it like it is. You can recognize the dirty side of something while still seeing the beauty in it. These places get glamourized, but they’re also full of people, spiders, and stinky nuts. It’s good to keep your expectations realistic. I’ve been twice so far, but got bored halfway up (it’s long), so I want to go again and make it to the top.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I thought this was a fun way to talk about a place so many have been to. I like it there not for the gates but for the view and the quiet further up! I actually got lost on the mountain my first time there.


  4. Great tips and I agree with everything you said! The Tori was a good experience, but really hard to get a decent photo between without people getting in the way. Conversely, as a result of so many people taking photos, it is a slow walk.

    We gave up after about 30 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Boarding Call says

    Great that you are honest about this! I had a similar experience at temples in Bali – all the pictures you see on blogs and IG are so picture perfect but when you are there the sights are packed with people in reality!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that 😀 Well, I’m not going for advertising *LOL* I guess picture perfect isn’t necessary. Sometimes I feel let down or underwhelmed by the actual place after so many people hyped it up and make crazy engineered photos.


  6. I went there! 😛 It wasn’t too bad when we went – lots of people but not overcrowded.
    I was mainly surprised how commercial this temple was…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Agree with the comment about visiting some of the most popular places – if you visit them anyway- late in the day or very early morning. We go to experience the Nagano snow monkeys with just two other visitors. That made it even more impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

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