Fushimi-Inari Photography Guide
Fushimi-Inari is an incredible shrine in the south of Kyoto. The famous “Senbon Torii” (gates made of red arches) are one of the most famous attractions in Japan and provide photographers with the perfect backdrop to capture beautiful shots. This sacred mountain Inariyama in southern Kyoto is full of colors, wooden architecture and natural landscapes. There are many stunning places to whip out your camera – from the magnificent main shrine to the more than 10,000 torii gates on the hillside.
Fushimi-Inari is open continuously throughout the year and can be visited free of charge. A parking lot is available at the entrance, but it is still recommended to arrive by public transportation as it can get very crowded during the day. The train station is located right at the entrance of Fushimi-Inari.
The further up the mountain you go, the fewer visitors you will find. Most people go as far as Omokaru Stone, as this is the most beautiful, but also the most crowded passage of the red Fushimi Inari gates. Climbing further towards the top is definitely worth it to get a little more space and time to take pictures.
Best time to visit
Fushimi Inari is open all year round. The right time of the day is the most important factor for your visit. Especially when the sun is low in the afternoon or evening, the conditions are the best. However, the sun should still be high enough to illuminate the red gates. It is also important to note that the shrine is very popular and it can get very crowded at peak times such as weekends or holidays.
The weather is another important factor. Fushimi Inari is most beautiful when the weather is clear and the sun out, as you can also enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape. It is also important to note that the weather can get very hot in the summer months, so climbing the mountain isn’t the best idea, and in the winter it might be too cold and windy. Therefore, the best time to visit in the mild months such as spring or autumn.
How to get to Fushimi-Inari Shrine
The most convenient way to get to Fushimi-Inari Shrine is by train with the JR Nara line. Get off at the Inari stop. There are only 2 stops between Kyoto Station and Fushimi-Inari Shrine. The ride takes about 5 minutes.
An alternative is to take the bus from Kyoto Station to Fushimi-Inari Shrine. In this case, bus number 5 departs from the bus station in front of the main entrance of Kyoto station and stops at the Fushimi-Inari stop. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
Alternatively, you can come by car. A large parking lot is available at the entrance to Fushimi-Inari Shrine. However, this is often full during the day. If you come by car, you should come very early or around evening to get a free parking space.
Best photography spots at Fushimi-Inari Shrine
Fushimi-Inari Shrine has an endless number of wonderful photo opportunities. However, there is one photo spot that is iconic. This is the junction of the red torri at the beginning of the climb to the summit.
- Exact location: 34°58’00.9″N 135°46’29.5″E
- Very crowded location.
- Nearly impossible to use tripod here.
- Share this place with other visitors.
- Exact location: 34°58’02.3″N 135°46’22.2″E
- Very crowded location during daytime.
- Tripod possible, nevertheless sometimes difficult.
- Also beautiful at night.
- Exact location: 34°58’11.1″N 135°46’32.9″E
- Less crowded path, but also less torii.
- Tripod possible.
Best places to eat near Fushimi-Inari
Okudenn: A beautiful traditional okonomiyaki restaurant. Okonomiyaki is a popular Japanese dish made with vegetables, noodles and meat or seafood. It is usually prepared on a hot plate or grill and served with various sauces and cheeses. Okonomiyaki restaurants are widespread in Japan and offer different types of okonomiyaki. It is worth making a reservation in advance.
Kanoko: Kanoko restaurant in Kyoto, makes homemade soba and udon noodles using traditional methods and high-quality ingredients. The restaurant also serves dashi, a traditional Japanese broth made from aged Hokkaido sea kelp and three types of dried bonito. In addition to traditional sake from the famous Fushimi sake region, the restaurant also offers premium draft beers and fruit wines. The restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere with seating at tables and a traditional Ozashiki area overlooking the garden.
Inarinadai Dohachi: A long-established, simple and traditional restaurant with a selection of tasty udon noodle dishes.
Opening Hours: 24h
Entrance Fee: no entrance fee
Best time: Early morning or late evening due to crowd. Also beautiful at night.
Photography Equipment: No drones allowed | Tripod difficult, but allowed | Prime-lenses recommended