Kyoto #23: 伏見稲荷大社【Fushimi Inari Taisha】

Mysterious World…
The mysterious space and small shrine named Kumataka-sha shrine are in the middle of way to the top of the mountain. It takes 10~15 minutes to arrive from Senbon Torii. People pass through route where there are many small torii. It’s seems like old Japanese world.

The mysterious space

In addition, people can see a unique scene with lots of candles burning on the day when there are many visitors.  People also can buy its candle at the tea shop named Take-Ya facing the approach.

Unique scene at Kumataka-sha shrine

Why Lots of Foxes…
Long story short, the fox is considered the sacred and symbolic animal of deities of  Inari Shrines in general.
When you see the statues of Fox, you find out that they hold something like rice stalk in their mouth. The key of images stands for the wish of us, as I said, bountiful harvest, like that. Aside from rice stalk, they hold the key and balls in their mouth.

Fox statue

Fox holding rice stalk

The fox statue on the left as you face it: Key. The key that the Fox has in his mouth is the key to open the warehouse. This is the key to the warehouse that stores “rice”.
The fox statue on the right as you face it: Jewel (Ball). It is based on the origin of Jewel-Key Faith which means the ball and key indicate the sun and the shade, the heaven and the earth and then, by these two functions, they express the reason to generate and nurture.


Cute and interesting things…
①Cute small attraction
There is an interesting stone called Omokaru-Ishi stone which is literally means something like ‘Heavy-or-Light stone’. Let’s try it following the rules below.

How to do Omokaru-ishi

① You are supposed to make a wish in mind in front of the lantern.

② Then hold up the stone on the lantern.

③ If the stone is lighter than you expected, your wish will come true soon. On the other hands, if you feel it’s heavy, unfortunately, your wish will take time to come true or it won’t come true.


②Interesting Wish Board
In addition, people can see other beautiful views there. These are Ema, which is a votive picture tablet that we offer to a shrine or temple when we pray for something of after our prayers are answered. While we can do the same thing before prayers are answered.

The tablet sometimes gears a picture of a specific shape that comes from a feature of each shrine. In the case of Fushimi Inari Taisha, it looks like vermilion torii.


This time, we have introduced Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. When you come to Kyoto, you should visit there and see its beauty and magnificence. You can experience awesome atmosphere and nature there.


Sightseeing Kyoto#1: 清水寺【Kiyomizu-Dera Temple】 Kyoto#2: 高台寺【Kodai-Ji Temple】 Kyoto#3: 金閣寺【Kinkaku-Ji […]


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※ informative reference(Book)
Title: Kyoto 29 walks in Japan’s ancient captal
Pulisher: John H. MARTIN and PHYLLIS G. MARTIN
Company:Tuttle Publishing; Vinyl Bound Paperback版