It is very famous for its red Torii arcade as well
as the size of the place.
There are said to be some thirty thousand throughout the
country, frequented by people of all ages.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head shrine with which all the others are affiliated.
In the 1300 years since its establishment in 711AD,
people have gathered here to pray for bountiful harvests,
business prosperity, the safety of their home
and family and the fulfillment of all kinds of other wishes.
In recent years, the shrine’s Japanese worshippers have been
joined by overseas visitors coming to tour the shrine.
Fushimi Inari Taisha is now known worldwide as
one of the most iconic sights in Kyoto,
and in Japan as a whole.
The origin of Fushimi Inari Taisha is described in
Yamashirokoku Fudoki, an ancient report on provincial culture,
geography and oral tradition that was presented
to the emperor.
Irogu no Hatanokimi, an ancestor of Hatanonakatsue
no Imiki, is said to have shot a rice cake, which
turned into a swan and flew away.
Eventually the swan landed on a peak of a mountain,
where an auspiciousomen occurred and rice grew.
Inari is named for this miracle (“ina” is Japanese for “rice”).
It has also been described in other ancient texts,
which state that priests such as Hatauji have held
spring and autumn festivals at the shrine
ever since the deity Inari Okami was enshrined
on a plateau in the Inari Mitsugamine area during the
Wado era (708-715).
An ancient shrine text also says that Irogu no Hatanokimi,
a respected figure in what is now the Fukakusa area of Kyoto,
received an imperial order from Empress Genmei to enshrine
three deities in three mountains on the first Day of the Horse
of the second month of 711.
That year, the farmers were blessed with great harvests of grains and much silk from their silkworms.
This shows that Fushimi Inari Taisha and the Fukakusa area are
closely connected to Hatauji, and that our deity has been
enshrined since the first Day of the Horse in the second month of 711.
But there is reason to believe that our faith dates back even further than this.