Shortcut from Fushimi Inari to Tofukuji


Fushimi Inari is connected to a few other temples via quiet forest trails. One popular destination is Tofukuji Temple but most people don't know about the shortcut. Here it is:

Getting to the shortcut

  1. Head up the usual path lined with torii to Yotsu-tsuji (四つ辻), where you'll get a nice view of southern Kyoto. There are two paths up to the top of Mt Inari. They form a loop that ends back at Yotsu-tsuji. Take the path to the right.

  2. Visit San-no-mine (Third Peak, 三ノ峰), Ao-no-Mine (間ノ峰), Ni-no-Mine (Second-Peak, 二ノ峰), and arrive at Ichi-no-Mine (First Peak,一ノ峰). These were the original landing spots for the gods. Begin your descent. You will pass by Mitsurugisha (三剱家). Take a detour up the steps to look at the Tsurugiishi Stone, the mother of the lighting god who resides in Kamigamo Shrine in the western part of Kyoto City.

  3. Continue going down to the Yakuriku-sha (literally, Medical Power Shrine, 薬力社). This is where you will see sandals being offered to the gods, and a shop selling eggs boiled in holy water. Consider having a coffee break here, because the coffee is made with holy water and you're going to need to pay attention from here on.

  4. To the right of the shop is a small path leading down to the Kasasugi Shrine. Pause and enjoy the sounds of the stream. Then head past Kasasugi Shrine until you see a large house-like structure. This is where pilgrims stay the night. Go past the structure, cross the bridge, and make a right.

  5. You are now at the shortcut. Follow the path marked on Google Maps to the Hojo Garden of Tofukuji Temple, where gardens representing Buddhist cosmology await you. This is what you’ll see if you’re lucky enough to be there just after a night of snow in late January: