The complex of Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most remarkable sights in southern Kyōto. The impressive complex was dedicated to a Shinto god (Shinto gods are known as 'kami') by the Hata family in the 8th century, and encompasses five shrines. Curiously, the deity the entire complex is dedicated to – Inari Ōkami – is one of the principle Shinto kami, whose circle of influence includes foxes, rice, sake, agriculture and industry, and even general success and prosperity.
The spotlight here goes to the 5,000 of vermilion gates (known as Senbon torii), that lead up to the summit of 233m Mt. Inari-san. The Romon Gate at the shrine’s entrance was donated in 1589 by the samurai warlord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Stone foxes also play an important role here, as they are considered to be messengers of Inari.