Casual walk in the heart of Japan
A classic number one attraction in the modern Japan. Fushimi Inari, 10,000 orange shrines dedicated to the god of rice and sake, spread across a mountain. If you manage to avoid the crowds, the walk along the trail can be a mini-adventure itself: the pathway wanders 4km and takes about two hours to complete. And if the place feels familiar, it is not a deja vu: parts of the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha ” were filmed here.
What to know: all of the gates were paid for and donated by national and local businesses, sometimes even individuals. The small ones start from a humble price of 400,000 yen ($3,500), larger ones can go for 1,300,000 yen ($12,000).
When to go: officially the shrine opens at 09:00 and closes at 17:00 but technically it’s open 24 hours. The time between 11:00 and 16:00 is the absolutely worst: the crowds of tourists cover enough ground to make any photo literally impossible. So, pick either morning or evening – this is the only holy window when tourist buses aren’t there.
How to book: Fushimi Inari Shrine is completely free – and it is actually the only place of its kind that is free in Japan. Enjoy that rare chance to save money in the Land of the Rising Sun.
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