The earliest structures were built in 711 before the move of the Imperial family to what would become Kyoto!
The main gate into the Shrine.
Inari is one of the best known kami of the Shinto religion and she/he is the goddess/god of rice and prosperity. Inari doesn't have a set image nor gender, but is usually shown as an old man sitting on a pile of rice with two foxes or kitsune in Japanese, or that of a beautiful fox-woman. Many people confuse Inari with kitsune, but kitsune is a messenger for Inari, not a kami.
Fushimi Inari is filled with different kitsune statues and besides the torii, is the image that most people know.
Greg was kind enough to take me to Fushimi Inari not once, but twice, I love it that much. There is something there that gives me the chilly willies that dance up and down my spine, and I feel as though this is my souls home.
Walking under the torii gives one an interesting feeling, where with the turning of the path new horizons open up, and the past is closed, finished.
The torii stretch for a total of 4 miles, and as you climb to other side shrines and areas, you can see the torii from many different angles.
For some unknown reason, its now become wildly popular to rent kimonos and visit shrines and temples, even if the lady dressing up isn't Japanese. Today we saw a sweet faced young woman wearing a kimono and a Muslim headscarf! But no matter the why or reason it became popular, it just seems fitting to see young ladies dressed in the style of the past in old shrines and temples. Off to the right of the photo are school kids in their uniforms.
If you'd like to see bamboo without fighting the hoards of folks at Arashiyama, and in a quiet peaceful setting, that is free to boot, come to Fushimi and the trail breaks to the right and left. To the left is a shrine area that looks like this,
to the right is a sign pointing up, take that and walk past the first shrine and you will find the bamboo. You can hear the wind play and sing in the tree tops, listen to birds adding their joyful trills, and only a stray voice floats up from the main path.