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.

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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 😉

 

Tips:

  • 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.

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

54 Comments

  1. I was aware of the money to pay for those tori arches. But not the price tags. Oh well…

    We did enjoy our trip there and yes, of course, I did a blog post about it.

  2. WOW. I’ve literally never read a negative thing about Fushimi Inari. But what you’ve said isn’t wrong, per say. Though I guess I was just lucky to avoid all insects (I was there in December, though there was no snow even in Nagano that year. … that time in 2015-16 reported as one of the warmest winters on record – worldwide). The tourists DID aggravate me to the point of wanting to knock them senseless with their selfie-sticks. I’ve heard people had better luck going late in the day, and varying opinions about whether the place closes or remains open 24/7. But I was there so close to closing time (there WAS a closing time that day despite what some people have told me about staying after dark), and the hordes of people were GRRRR. Because of the timing, I did not go all the way up to the peak. I’m still glad I went, but I’ve often felt in Japan that tourists muck up the feel and tranquility of the country. The locals were never the ones that made me feel eager to leave certain areas. By the end of my 5-6 months stay, I felt like a local, and could just not associate or assimilate with these obnoxious tourists.

    • Wahaha, really? There’s always a first. I almost skipped writing about Kyoto completely for my blog. I feel that it has been sooooo covered online already. You’re lucky with the mosquitoes. I’ve been there like 5 times and each time I was literal lunch meat.

      What were you doing there for so long? What visa was that? I can only stay there for max 3 months at a time.

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