Holy Fortune for Hire

The Torri gates of Kyoto are a well loved Shinto shrine. The beautiful vermillian gates line the hills in a seemingly never ending parade of requests for the gods to bless companies and families. This Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) shrine sells the beautiful gates for anywhere between $4,000 USD (400,000 yen) for a small gate far up the hill to $13,000 USD (1,300,000 yen) for a large one closer in.

The names of the donor companies are inscribed in black ink on the side.

A fun animal statue at the shrine. Foxes are more common but pug dogs coexist.
Before praying, ring the bell to be sure the gods are listening

The earliest structures existed around 711 on a nearby hill but were relocated later. Since 1499, this shrine has accepted prayers to the god of grains. Only later, did it expand to prayers for business success. The vermilion color represents the sun.

10,000 gates stand together like trees in a forest

A fox statue protecting the grains.

Another fox with a key in his mouth
A map to the Kyoto gates shows how extensive they are
Visitors can buy miniature paper gates and hang them here with their prayers

For hale and hearty visitors, a walk up the hiking trails among the gates quickly takes you away from the crowds and provides beautiful views of Kyoto. While Kyoto is the main temple, there are sub-shrines around Japan, including one in Tokyo.

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I love to travel, do arts and crafts and photography. But most of all, I like to combine them all.

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