The Alternative Fushimi Inari Walking Tour

 
 

Dragons. Waterfalls. Political control. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is so more than its famous tunnels of vermillion-red torii gates. Most people are satisfied by a scenic view of southern Kyoto City and by the forested trails through the mountain. But we'll go deeper. Much deeper.

What we’ll do

Visit a tree god and get your divination lot interpreted for you. Drink healing water from a hidden waterfall. Hike down Fushimi Inari on a path that pilgrims once used. We'll also visit a quiet Zen temple built with Shinto principles in mind, and practice a bit of mindful walking.

What you’ll learn

You will learn how politics changes the way people worship, how people struggle to strike a balance between ritual and spontaneity, and how Indians, Koreans, and Americans have shaped the Inari faith. Once you've been on this hike, you'll never see shrines and temples the same way again. You'll be primed to find more hidden symbols, practices, and stories everywhere.

Come see a Fushimi Inari that everyone else has been missing out on, and leave seeing Buddhism and Shintoism in a whole new light.


8:30AM - 12:30PM

Small groups of 6 or fewer
Guided hike in English
4 hours total
¥6,000


 
 
 

100% 5-star reviews

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Check out the reviews on TripAdvisor and Airbnb.

 
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What our guests say

This is not just some average business as usual tour, it was such a great spiritual experience.
— Adura, USA
Absolutely well worth every penny and minute. Learned so much, saw beautiful nature, and enjoyed a side of Inari we could never have alone.
— Ryan, USA
We have a 9-year-old son and a 13-year old daughter. They were totally engrossed in learning about Shintoism, the foxes, dragons, the shrines, calling the gods...
— Eric, Switzerland
Wow! We love, love, loved Lee’s tour. I can’t add any more to the amazing reviews... It has been the highlight of our Kyoto stay.
— Sandra, UK
The tour is unlike any other you’ll find for this area and at times your small group will be the only one in the area you are in...
— Jenna, South Africa
Definitely a must if you’re looking beyond the Instagram photos of the main shrine. I unreservedly recommend this walking tour. IT IS A MUST.
— Mike, Singapore
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FAQs

Where do we meet?

We meet opposite JR Inari Station, at the entrance to the shrine. You’ll get a map and directions to the meeting point immediately after you book the tour.

Do we walk if it rains or snows?

Yes. The walk continues as scheduled in light drizzles and light snowfall, but it will be cancelled in the event of heavy rain, if there are strong winds or if there is a major earthquake. You will have a chance to reschedule or choose to be refunded in full.

Dress code?

Come in comfortable walking shoes. Sandals and other apparel that expose your feet are not recommended. Avoid heels, geta (wooden clogs), and loose clothing you are not used to wearing (yukata and kimono). Singlets and extremely short shorts are not recommended for temples and shrines. Apart from raising eyebrows you’ll attract mosquitoes.

Can children come?

Parents are welcome to take children on the tour. Toddlers aged 3-4 have successfully hiked the entire trail. All children must be registered as guests because we pay attention to them as much as the adults. Be sure that they are ready to walk for 4 hours and that you'll be able to carry them part of the way if they get tired. Please email us if you intend to take a child under the age of 8 on this tour so that we can ensure that there are not too many children to handle.

Any breaks?

Yes, of course. We will be making our way up slowly and will pause a few times, so walkers of all ages should be able to make it through. There are vending machines with drinks and some huts selling biscuits and crackers, but I suggest bringing some energy bars to snack on.

What can I do after the tour?

We end the tour at Tofukuji Station, where there are many options for lunch. You may then want to walk back to Tofukuji’s Hojo Garden to view Japan’s first modern zen garden, Funda-in Temple to Kyoto’s oldest zen garden, or make your way to Sanjusangendo to view the 1001 bodhisattvas. You can also take the train to Nara from Tofukuji Station.