Fushimi Inari Shrine
One of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions, thousands of brilliant red torii gates line the forests of Mount Inari, marking the famous Shinto shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha. The glorious main hall towers above, while below souvenir stores bustle beside rows of street food stalls. Dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, scale the steps twisting to the summit with views of Kyoto City from the south. In a series of smaller shrines, fox statues sit everywhere, believed to be Inari’s messengers. Small restaurants en route offer bowls of kitsune udon (“fox” udon) and tofu-wrapped inari sushi, dishes that include aburaage (fried tofu) which is said to be foxes’ favorite food. The secrets of sake are taught in Fushimi’s oldest brewery, the Gekkeikan Okura Museum, as the Fushimi district is also one of Japan’s top 3 sake-producing areas, and the second largest in the country. Top-quality rice wine is made across the Fushimi sake brewing area, where its 40 sake breweries use pure waters and local ingredients to create signature tastes and aromas. From sake to sushi, the delicious flavors of Fushimi have got rice to thank.
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