Go for a tranquil walk in what may be Japan’s most photogenic spot, discover what the local god can do for you as a couple, and finally explore less-known destinations with history and local products!
Japan’s #1 photogenic spot?
Fushimi district is one of the loveliest places in Japan. You probably saw photos of that area, especially of Fushimi Inari Taisha (Shinto shrine): a long long alley of red Japanese gates tightly placed after each other going up Mount Inari. This is one of the most photogenic places in Japan but it is difficult to take photos at the entrance because it is very crowded. However, the higher you walk up the small mountain (233 metres) the fewer tourists you will encounter so you can catch a few moments to take a beautiful magic photo of you, your lover and a great couple photo together. In addition, there are many small shrines on the way to the top, and some places with tests! For example, you can quickly reach a place with a big rock that you have to lift with your arms; the result of the test is as follows: if the rock feels that heavy then your wish comes true but if the rocks feels lighter or heavier then your wish does not come true… Will you try it? I saw a child try and it was very funny because the rock was obviously way too heavy. I laughed even more after I tried myself though because I made the same mistake as the child: the rock was much heavier than I imagined. These pure moments of fun make excellent photos too 🙂
A shrine to make babies?
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine of the god Inari, who is the Japanese god of foxes and fertility. In popular culture, Inari may be represented as male, female or androgynous but you will mainly find sculptures of foxes… So when you see the many foxes on the mountain, you know you are surrounded by the god/goddess of fertility. Couples planning to have babies may consider buying lucky charms of Inari before going back to their country! Check the many talismans sold at Fushimi Inari Taisha!
After the shrine: date plan?
On a quiet day, you should reach the top of Mount Inari in two hours. On a busy day, you may take much more time as the trails are narrow and you need to make space for people on the way down. If you plan to go to the top, you should bring snacks because you will not find much food during your hike. However, you can easily get food afterwards in the small shopping district in front of Fushimi Inari Taisha. Buy at least “tsjiura senbei” rice crackers containing a piece of paper with a fortune written on it; if you get a pair, you can learn what the Japanese gods have in mind for you and your partner…
During the rest of the day, you can go explore other famous areas of Kyoto city as Kyoto station is just 7 minutes away from Inari station by train. Otherwise, you can continue your romantic day in the area. here is a suggestion of date plan for couples who want deep unique experiences with different ambiances and with great potential for exciting/memorable photos:
- 08:00 – Walk to Araki Shrine, where you can see many small kuchi-ire fox dolls; you can purchase some too!
- 08:30 – Walk up at Fuji Inari Taisha.
- 10:30 – Short rest with snacks & drinks bought previously at a convenience store or train station.
- 11:00 – Walk down at Fuji Inari Taisha.
- 13:00 – Arrival at the entrance/exit of Fuji Inari Taisha.
- 13:10 – Take a train from Inari station to Momoyama station (6 minutes, 2 stops).
- 13:30 – Quickly visit the sober Gokonomiya Shrine for a big contrast of colours and styles with Fushimi Inari Taisha.
- 13:45 – Walk to Ryoma-dori shopping district (south-west of Gokonomiya Shrine).
- 14:00 – Explore the old-style Ryoma-dori shopping district.
- 14:30 – Walk to Kizakura Fushimigura (15 minutes).
- 14:45 – Eat a wonderful set of Japanese food and compare local beers or rice wines with a tasting set at Kizakura Fushimigura!
- 16:00 – Go back to your hotel for a short rest then enjoy something else in the evening.