Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018

Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto…

This beautiful and much visited shrine sits at the base of the Inari mountain in the Fushimi ward in Kyoto. The shrine is actually dedicated to the god Inari rather than the mountain, and features the distinctive red torii gates that line the 4km’s of trails that lead up the mountain to the many smaller (but no less photogenic) shrines along the route.

Although the shrine is open 24 hours and there is no entrance fee, it is still a very popular destination, and so for the photographer the real challenge is in capturing the rows of torii gates without the huge crowds. Thankfully there are over 10,000 of these Senbon torii along the main path, each of which has been donated by a Japanese business in gratitude for a wish that has materialized, or in anticipation of a wish to come. This custom began in the Edo period (1603-1868) as although Inari is the god of rice, the deity has traditionally been worshiped as the patron of business.

Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
The main entrance torii gate at the shrine… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Foxes are often found in Inari shrines. They are regarded as messengers, and this one has a key to the granary in his mouth… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
A quick shot free of other visitors… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Some vibrant flowers along the route…© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
The start of the 4km route, which takes around 2.5 hours at a leisurely pace… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Our modern obsession…traditionally wrapped… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
This is the main building that you encounter at the shrine…quite magnificent it is too! © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Although it was a relatively bright day, it was actually quite dark inside the rows of the torii gates, often necessitating raising the camera’s ISO to 1600 in order to capture crisp images with the 5DSR… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Details… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
It is possible to hire a kimono for a visit to the shrine, and it was certainly grerat to see so many people in traditional clothes throughout Japan… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Miniature torii gates… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Interesting to note how the colour of the gates faded at some of the older areas… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Wooden prayer placards… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Two ladies in traditional kimonos at Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Traditional mobile phones… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
© Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine, Kyoto, Japan © Michael Evans Photographer 2018
Beautiful traditional colour at the shrine… © Michael Evans Photographer 2018

All the images were captured using my by now much loved Canon 5DSR, along with the 17mm TS-E f4, 24-70 f2.8 L II, 16-35 f4 L and the 7.-200 f2.8 L II. Quite a lot to carry, but certainly worth it to have such an array of focal lengths at my disposal.

Many more images from this trip can be viewed at my website www.michaelevansphotographer.com under the travel section.

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