Feb. 07, 2019 UPDATE

The first shrine visit of the year in 2018 to Fushimi Inari Shrine!

We went to the one and only Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for both its thousands of torii gates and foxes, in Kyoto for the first shrine visit of 2018!
Sampo[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

It’s January, which means that it’s time for the first shrine visit of the year. And this, of course, means that we had to go to Fushimi Inari Shrine, the most popular first-shrine-visit-of-the-year (hatsumode) spot in Kyoto. 

Hatsumode is something almost everyone does in Japan, and while some people go to a temple, most people go to a shrine. Last year we at Sharing Kyoto went to Yasaka Shrine, so this year it was time to go to Fushimi Inari Shrine. 


Fushimi Inari ShrineFushimi Inari Shrine is an incredible spot to visit, but it can also get really crowded. When we saw the crowds, we decided to have lunch before going to the shrine. 

Hiwamatanoboru As we didn’t want to spend that much time eating, we chose one of the best ramen restaurants in Kyoto, Hiwamatanoboru as our lunch spot. Their specialty is their chicken and pork bones ramen. 

SampoSpecialty RamenWhile I had this huge bowl called their Specialty Ramen, which has a huge amount of menma and chashu on it. The ramen here is really flavorful and thick, but the aftertaste is rather good and doesn’t linger (unless you put really a lot of garlic into the ramen). 

chicken and pork bones ramenYoko had a new Hiwamatanoboru specialty: chicken and pork bones ramen with fish stock! After tasting her soup, I was sold. The fish stock makes the taste a bit milder, but also adds quite a lot of umami. Click here for more information about Hiwamatanoburu. 

HogyokudoOn the way to Fushimi Inari Shrine, we dropped by Hogyokudo because we wanted to buy some cookies in the shape of a fox's face. Unfortunately, they were sold out, but we managed to make a reservation and got our fox cookies an hour and a half later. Click here to read more about Hogyokudo. 

uge screenOnce you get closer to the shrine, you get to see a huge screen by it playing commercial. 

anime-themedThey even had some anime-themed commercial playing too. It felt a bit weird watching commercial while lining up to pray. 

the shrine didn’t feel as crowdedOnce you got inside these gates, the shrine didn’t feel as crowded. 

the main hallNext, we lined up to pray at the main hall. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take pictures there.

containerBut we did get to try our luck with the fortune slips! You first shake this container, and then see which number is written on the stick that comes out. The numbers are written in Chinese characters so you need to have Google Translate ready. 

I got lucky!I got lucky! But according to the slip, I need to act fast. 

hatsumode So we took our hatsumode pictures at another, smaller shrine on the precincts. I hope 2018 will be a good year for Sharing Kyoto! 

YokoYoko was excitedIt had started to rain, but we soldiered on. Yoko was excited to get to see the thousand torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine. 

 the torii gatesAll of the torii gates here were gifted to the shrine by companies and individuals, and behind the gates you can read which company gifted which torii gate to the shrine. (The gates do not come cheap…)

go back to the officeThe thousand torii gates area was really crowded, so Yoko was really happy when got to go back. So all that was left now was to get the fox cookies we had reserved and go back to the office!

yatsuhashi But on the way we found this, yatsuhashi in Fushimi Inari packaging, and had to buy a box. After this we picked up our cookies and headed back! 

fox cookiesHere you can see Yoko showing you the proper way of eating the fox cookies. 

A comment from the staff
The thousand torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine have a mysterious feel to them, and they make me feel refreshed every year. The shrine is incredibly crowded from January 1 to 3, so I recommend avoiding these dates if possible. There are also many food stalls so going to the shrine is a lot of fun!

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