Passing Through a Thousand Gates: A Family Expedition to Senbon Torii, Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine

Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is a place of wonder, spirituality, and stunning beauty. Its iconic Senbon Torii, or “thousand gates,” create a mesmerizing pathway up the sacred Mount Inari. In this family travel blog post, we invite you to embark on an unforgettable adventure as we explore this revered shrine, hike through the thousands of vermilion torii gates, and learn about the rich traditions of Fushimi Inari Taisha with your loved ones.

1. Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine: An Introduction:

Begin your family’s journey by introducing Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of Japan’s most famous Shinto shrines. Share the significance of the fox deity, Inari, and its association with prosperity and success.

2. Senbon Torii: The Thousand Gates Experience:

Immerse your family in the magic of Senbon Torii. Explain that these vermilion gates, donated by individuals and businesses, symbolize prayers and wishes. Share the idea of walking through them as a journey of self-discovery.

3. Preparing for the Hike:

Emphasize the importance of comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for hiking. Ensure your family stays hydrated and carries some light snacks for the journey.

4. The Starting Point:

Begin your adventure at the main entrance of Fushimi Inari Taisha. According to our guide, it is encourage to bow respectfully and make offerings before passing through the first set of torii gates.

5. The Ascend:

As you hike through the forested trail, share stories and legends related to the shrine. Look out for stone fox statues, Inari’s messengers, along the way.

6. Family Challenges:

Make the hike engaging for your kids by setting challenges. For instance, encourage them to count the torii gates or spot different wildlife along the trail.

7. Breaks and Scenic Views:

Take breaks at designated resting spots and viewpoints. Enjoy breathtaking panoramas of Kyoto as you ascend the mountain.

8. Explore Inner Shrines:

Along the trail, you’ll encounter inner shrines and altars. Explain the significance of these sites and encourage your family to offer prayers or wishes.

9. Picnic with a View:

Reach the summit with your family and enjoy a picnic with a view. Savor bento boxes or snacks while admiring the sweeping vistas of Kyoto below.

10. Descending with Memories:

Descend the mountain, reflecting on the experiences and lessons of the day. Discuss the importance of respecting nature, tradition, and the sacred.

11. Shrine Souvenirs:

Before leaving, visit the shrine’s gift shops and pick up souvenirs, such as fox-themed trinkets, charms, or omamori (protective amulets).


A family visit to Senbon Torii at Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine is an exploration of spirituality, nature, and tradition. As you hike through the thousand vermilion gates, you’ll not only witness stunning landscapes but also experience the rich culture and deep-rooted beliefs of Japan. More than just a physical journey, this adventure provides an opportunity for your family to connect with each other and the profound spirituality of Fushimi Inari Taisha. As you descend the mountain with hearts full of memories and reflections, you’ll carry the magic of this sacred place with you, forever etched in your family’s story.