Fodor's Expert Review Fushimi-Inari Taisha
This shrine's thousands of red gates may well be the quintessential image of Japan. The gates line the path up the mountainside, parted at irregular intervals by shrines, altars, mausoleums, and hundreds of foxes in stone and bronze. This is the central headquarters for 40,000 shrines nationally that pay tribute to Inari, the god of rice, sake, and prosperity. As Japan's economic focus shifted from agriculture to other businesses, Inari was adopted as the patron deity of any kind of entrepreneurial venture—the gates in the path are donated by businesses from around the country seeking a blessing. Walking the whole circuit takes about two hours, a bit longer if you stop at the shops selling snacks along the way. Hikers can continue up the path and follow it along the Higashiyama Range and into central Kyoto.