Copyright Sascha Athos Proietti

Fujimi Inari Shrine

Fujimi Inari Shrine

My experience, my feeling, my soul, through my eyes and my photos

(September 2018 / October 2019)

My travel equipement for this trip:

Bodies : Leica Q1   / Leica Q2  / Leica MP-240  / Fujifilm X100F + TCL & WCL  

Lenses : 50mm Noctilux M f/0.95  / 35mm Summicron M Asph 6bit /  Trielmar (WATE) 16.18.21 F/4 / 135mm Telyt asph 3,4

The schintoist Fujimi Inari Shrine sanctuary is located in the beautiful city of Kyoto, one of the Japanese tourist destinations where you can still admire the typical atmosphere never fallen of Japan, although with many contradictions having largely been modernized.

It is located a few kilometers from Kyoto’s main station, is spread along the slopes of Inari-Yama and is easily accessible by Trains, Subways and Buses (JR Nara Line, Keihan Line, Bus 105 or 5 South).

The station from where you can embark on the walk is called INARI STATION, from there to just a 10-minute walk, along which you can find typical shops and local food markets begins the route.

Different possibilties
Buses for Fushimi Inari Shrine



At the bus stop
Two local ladies taking the bus
Typical Kymono dressing of Kyoto


The JR train


About Inari:

the God Inari is still considered the protector of Japanese trade, it is for shintoists the God of rice and agriculture and well-being in general;

There are about 40,000 shrines dedicated to Inari throughout the island, and Fujimi Sanctuary is arguably one of the most visited and one of the most popular.

Play of lights in the trees
First part of the path
The descending


Facade during the outward journey
Facade on the return journey
The full path

In total, the route is 5 km long

(about 2 hours of non-compulsory walk to the summit)

Reaches the summit of Mount Inari at 233 meters.

Most people do not reach the summit but stop or shortly after the start,

about 15 minutes from the first sanctuary where there is a first crossroads

The first crossroads

or they arrive at the crossroads called Yotsutsuji intersection from which you can admire a beautiful view of the city of Kyoto from above.

Yotsutsuji intersection, view of Kyoto

The route, divided by 5 large sanctuaries, passes through countless orange TORII

(which are traditional Japanese access portals that lead to a sacred area).

Each one is donated by more or less important companies where the names of the companies can be seen on the back. and the date of the donation.

In the descent, the return, they can be seen in all their beauty.



Along the way, there will be hundreds of stone statues depicting the Fox, which represents the Messenger of Inari

and is considered sacred, as it is capable of “possessing” human beings, entering from under the nails to take possession of their bodies;

the key in the mouths is the object that opens the harvest in the warehouse

Throughout the route there are various Tea-Houses or vending machines (typical throughout Japan) of typical Japanese drinks, stop there and taste something typical and try local tea, green tea (Matcha) is highly recommended. Ask most importantly, what is special about that day, you will not regret. . .

A selection of Sake inside a tea-house shop
Almost at the top, the best tea-house in the path! guaranteed
Boiled eggs

While a take my leica M240-P and ask a Portrati at the Vendor
Enjoy the moments after an hour of walking
The owner and vendor of the Tea-house


The path, photographically is very suggestive, the previous year I didn’t bring a super wide-angle lens, which I did instead for in second trip (2019), it is highly recommended to look for suggestive angles and give greater importance and power to the wonderful Torii

It is said that God is in the details, and it is really so, every corner of the path hides very beautiful details where you can discover the essence of the place

A Fox fountain
Mini torrii along all path
Small sanctuary
Holy fountain
Torii to sell!!


Towards dusk the lights passing through the path are very suggestive and recommended for creating very interesting games

Light through the torii
Light through the torii
Light through the torii

Outside path:
it is interesting to occasionally get out of the path, without straying too far (it says there are mischievous monkeys around the entire hill) and try a different point of view.

Outshide path
Outshide path from the top of the hill
Outshide path where you can see some part of the wood


Fountains and the ritual of purification:
It is customary to enter the purified sanctuaries, this occurs through bamboo ladles (HISHAKU) (sometimes also made of plastic, wood or metal) one starts with the right hand to purify the left hand with holy water, after which it is filled again the Hishaku and the mouth is purified, after the purification process is finished, the ladle is placed vertically to let the water slide towards the handle to purify it, once finished, put the ladle back in its place with the concave part towards the bass.

Hishaku and the fountain
Beginning of the purification
Second part of purification

Meet people with local Kimono:
Often you meet people dressed in the local Kimono that are not local, this is due to the dozens of shops or tour operators who rent the full service for a fee (kimono, hairstyle, makeup, handbag and sandals) but often they are very suggestive to photograph them remembering the true Japanese traditions, which can often be found in Kyoto.

Real Japanese girl walikg throughthe path
A really true couple . . . from Taiwan 🙂
The wise wife

The sanctuary in the evening:
It is possible to access for a small part, up to the second large sanctuary in the evening, after sunset, I recommend shortly after dinner, so you can meet very few people and you have time to devote yourself to both the suggestive path and photography. a tripod and a wide angle lens are recommended.

The torii gate at first sanctuary
A real woman along the evening in the path
Tripod and patience

The Shinto ritual:
In short, Shintoism is a set of related to different beliefs and rites. It is not really a religion, but more a way of life that is inherent in the Japanese daily life.
Through one or more Torii the person will have to walk the sandō, a path to reach the most sacred place of the sanctuary, in most cases, this path is to be followed to the side, but if access is not possible, you will have to walk in the center with the head bowed out of respect.
After the practice of purification, we will bow to the altar in front of the devotional box, where with a small offer (usually 5 Yen) we will pray for luck.
Once the offer is over, the devotee will pull the rope to ring the bell with two decisive touches, this to chase away the evil entities, after the last silent prayer with the head bowed, the rite is over.

The purification
write y name on it . . .


Play the bell


The sacred lottery:
The Omikuji, in slang, sacred lottery, is an extract of paper at random after the offering, with different levels of Luck / Bad Luck, that when it rolls out will prove to the faithful,
when the prediction is “bad”, it is customary for the faithful to tie the leaflet on a pine tree or often in a special bulletin board where beliefs say that the curse will wait on the attacked place and no longer in the faithful. While if the prediction is good, the leaflet remains.

The Omikuji
Omikuji and gift

The route can take a few minutes, to visit the first sanctuaries and pray, or many hours, where photographically you can observe various galleries of Torii and breathtaking views, tea-houses, fountains, small cemeteries and different places of prayer. It’s up to us to decide how long you want to spend.I recommend going to the top where there are far fewer people and you have the opportunity to more intensely admire the path as a whole. If you decide to visit it in the morning, go back in the evening, after dinner, or as i did, i had dinner in some typical non-tourist places nearby. It is a place that needs no introduction but it will surely remain in your heart like every sacred part of japan, i went back twice, and both votes i climbed to the top, looking for my way of photographing, my points of view of a path that is at times unique, at times perhaps ache too touristy, but at times dazzling in all its beauty and form. Leave me the comments and let me know your experience !!! Have fun watching the complete gallery !!! See you next time.

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