Hello, this is a Kitahama staff, Miyu, a Conan freak & a music lover! I'd like to introduce one of the most popular sightseeing spots, Fushimi Inari shrine.
What is Fushimi Inari Shrine? Fushimi Inari shrine is the most popular one in Kyoto for sightseeing. It's spacious that it would take more than two hours to walk all over its mountain. It's like walking on a well-maintained mountain trail, with lots of things to see along the way. I'd like to tell you about those three; the Senbon Torii, Omokaruishi, and Fushimi Inari Foxes.
1. The Senbon Torii Gate
Some of you imagine beautiful vermilion Senbon-torii gates when you hear "Fushimi Inari shrine." Senbon-torii literally means a thousand gates, but don't you wonder that there really are a thousand of them in the shrine? Actually, the word does not mean the actual number in this case. It means "too many to count."
I've visited Fushimi Inari shrine several times by myself, and I've been eager to count the number of torii. As you can easily imagine, I've often given up halfway through because of the sheer number of torii. I even not try to count them anymore. Can someone please count them instead of me…
The stone is called "Omokaruishi," a name that contains both heavy and light. This is a spot to test your luck - If you feel it lighter than your thought, your wish will tend to come true. If not, your wish will hardly come true. - Don't miss it!
3. Secrets of the Fushimi Inari Fox
If you go to Fushimi Inari, you'll notice that there are lots of fox statues there!
The Secret of the Fushimi Inari Shrine Fox! The foxes of Fushimi Inari shrine are said to be messengers of Gods. But there are four types of things that the fox statues hold in their mouths: ears of rice, a scroll, a ball, and a key, and each has different meanings!
"Ears of rice." This is because the Inari God is worshipped as the "God of Agriculture" and "God of Fertility"!
Since the Inari God is the one of grain and food, the fox statue is also holding "ears of rice" in its mouth.
Incidentally, some say that the fox's tail resembles fruitful rice ears, which is why it is considered a divine messenger.
"Scroll" A symbol of wisdom. This is the symbol of the secret of Inari's ability to make any wish come true.
"Jade (treasure)" Jade is a symbol of the grace of God. God's divine virtue is compared to a beautiful jewel.
"The Key." The symbol of the secret key to open the treasure house. It is also a symbol of the desire to acquire the divine virtues.
Some of you may visit Fushimi Inari, but I think you would enjoy it more if you knew the story I've told today. If you have time, stop by Kitahama before you go to Fushimi Inari shrine to meet us! Our staff will welcome you and help you so that you enjoy your trip more!