Many visitors find Fushimi-Inari Taisha's thousands of red lacquered gates to be the quintessential image of Japan. They trace a path up the mountainside, broken up at irregular intervals with shrines, altars, mausoleums, and thousands upon thousands of foxes in stone and bronze. This is the central headquarters for 40,000 shrines nationally that do service to Inari, the god of rice, sake, and prosperity. As Japan's underpinnings have shifted from agriculture to other forms of business, Inari has been adopted as a patron deity for any kind of entrepreneurial venture, and the gates in the path are donated by businesses from around the country seeking a blessing. Walking the whole circuit takes about three hours, or a bit longer if you stop at the shops selling snacks along the way. Hikers, continue up the path and follow it along the Higashiyama Range and into central Kyoto. To get here, take the JR Nara Line to Inari Station or Keihan Railway to Fushimi-Inari Station.
68 Fukakusa Yabu-no-uchi-cho, Kyōto, 612-0882, Japan