Fushimi Inari Taisha Tour

Get off the beaten track and discover the hidden treasures of Fushimi Inari and surroundings with a local historian.
From US$346 privately
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Tour Details
3.5 hours
Product Type
  • Sennyuji
  • Fushimi Inari
Photos & Highlights
  • Fushimi Inari Tour led by a historian
  • Journey through Mt.Inari, experiencing Fushimi Inari from a new perspective
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Tour Description
Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is the central headquarters for over 40,000 Inari shrines throughout Japan. Originally dedicated to the god of rice (‘Inari’), the deity of this interesting shrine is enrolled to foster business prosperity with the agricultural decline and boasts the largest number of worshippers in Japan. While this intriguing shrine remains a popular attraction for visitors, there's much more to this iconic place than the shrine itself. This 3.5-hour tour, led by a historian, follows mountain pilgrimage (‘Oyama Meguri’). Following this path, we will discover hidden altars, waterfalls, and sub-shrines of Mt. Inari without the crush of crowds and learn how the deities believed to be living in the mountain are worshipped. While exploring this path, we will also untangle the secret story of one of Japan’s most celebrated shinto deities, Inari. 

Please note: this tour involves moderate hiking and is not suitable for people with mobility concerns

Our adventure begins at Sennyuji. This hidden temple shares a special connection to Fushimi Inari not only because it hosts a freshwater spring from Mt. Inari but because it is also guarded by the protective spirit of Inari. Here, we will enjoy a serene stroll through the crowd-free temple compounds and learn about the temple’s historical importance through its close association with the Japanese imperial household. 

Leaving this treasure behind, we will follow a secret path that leads to Mt. Inari and begin the hike. Considered to be the holy body of the deity, Mt. Inari was once a sacred religious practice ground for monks and pilgrims. As we discover hidden altars, waterfalls, and sub-shrines, we will learn about ancient Japanese spirituality. Once we reach the top of Mt. Inari, we will be introduced to a spectacular view across all of southern Kyoto. From there, we will walk through arcades of the famous torii gates lining the path from the top of the mountain to Fushimi Inari Shrine on the ground level. We will leave with a deeper understanding of the history and purpose of Inari as well as the important role of Shintoism in Japanese culture.  
  • You're a culture lover interested in immersing yourself and your family in Japanese pop culture
  • You’re hoping to discover Ikebukuro district through the eyes of a local expert
  • You are traveling with curious kids under the age of 13. If you are traveling with teenagers, we suggest checking out our Tokyo Akihabara Tour.
  • Fushimi Inari Shrine - Dedicated to Inari, the deity of a good harvest and success in business, Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head of all of Japan's Inari shrines.
  • Sennyuji temple -  Its founder was the monk Eisai, who first introduced Zen Buddhism to Japan, and Dogen, who founded the Soto sect of Zen/
You are prepaid for the tour and entry fees at the venues.

Is it okay to tip my guide in Japan?
Yes. Context clients generally tip anywhere from 10-25% of the purchase price of a personal service such as this, depending on the quality of the experience and their tipping habits.
This tour involves moderate hiking, including a short walk up a steep mountain, which can be challenging. Unfortunately, the tour is not suitable for those with mobility issues.
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.

Where You'll Start
(4.91) 30 Reviews

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Arina was friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. We experienced a hot day and she was both understanding and flexible. Arina made changes to our walk to accommodate our needs.
We loved seeing this shrine at the end of the day, when it was much less crowded. Preston was a terrific guide, full of interesting facts and tidbits, and he made the hike up the back of the mountain lots of fun. We were all tired at the start, having just come from the bamboo forest and multiple other shrines, but we are SO glad we didn't miss this one. At the end of the tour, since we didn't have a dinner reservation, Preston suggested that we go eat at one of the many places underneath the train station, and it was fantastic. Thank you Preston!
Nathan was amazing. He told us a lot about the shrines, the torii gates, and Kyoto in general. It is easy to have a conversation with Nathan. Two of our sons were with us and they enjoyed the tour and speaking with Nathan. Highly recommend. Sharon Beckley