Hidden Hike around Fushimi Inari
Fushimi Inari is now Japan’s most popular tourist spot, but that doesn’t mean that you have fight the crowds all the time (granted, there are periods when you should avoid visiting it altogether). Most vistors follow the main trail, missing out entirely on the immense bamboo groves, numerous waterfalls, and secluded shrines. This 4.2 kilometre route takes you on the back path of the mountain, up to the summit, and then down through the main path back to the train stations.
Total time: 2.5 - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy slopes on most parts, except a 10 minute walk up steep stairs towards the summit.
Time of year: Anytime. Bring lots of water and mosquito repellent in the summer months.
The shrines you will pass by on the back path are active religious sites. Do not photograph anyone carrying out rituals or ritual baths.
Posing with kimono, or other attire is highly discouraged as it is disrespectful to the shrines and the people who believe in the gods there.
When you get to the bamboo groves, go onto the smaller paths to get panoramic views of the bamboo. Do not step off the paths because this is a working bamboo grove where the plants are harvested.
There are no toilets between the point where you turn off the main path till you get halfway down the mountain. Please go to the toilets at the base shrine before starting this trek. You will find a toilet at Gozendani (sometimes closed for cleaning) on the way down.