Tiny, moss-covered, fox villages make this shrine extra-magical. Walk through the shadowy tunnel of orange torii gates, and you’ll find yourself in another world. The shrine seems to grow out of the deep green moss, under towering cedar trees. As you climb among the little fox villages, you begin to sense why this is such a well-known power spot.
And of course, you can leave your own lucky fox figures – along with a wish – in one of the villages along the way. Buy a pair at the shrine store before you set out.
Hours: 9:00 – 16:00
Shrine admission: Free
There are more pix of the hidden nooks and crannies of the fox shrine here.
You can visit the main part of the shrine by climbing the not-too-extensive flight of steps through the torii gate tunnel. The hike up to the second shrine isn’t long (it took us about half an hour to do the whole loop), but it’s fairly steep in places and the trail is rocky, not groomed. If you’d like to skip the trail, you can still see the main fox village by doing it backwards – go left from the main shrine past the red banners and you’ll see it in about two minutes.
Note: The best time of year to visit is during the rainy season (June-Sept), when the moss is at its finest. If it hasn’t rained for a while, it can be a bit brown and disappointing.
Update, July 2019: I was just there, and discovered they’re renovating the shrine at the bottom of the hill right now. You can still see all the good stuff by walking up the path to the left, and coming back down the same way.
Sasuke Inari Shrine is in Kamakura, my favorite day trip from Tokyo. Here’s more to do in the neighborhood, while you’re there:
And just for fun, here are the eleven strangest shrines in Tokyo, with all the inside scoop on the resident gods’ superpowers
Click here for more
Jonelle Patrick is the author of five novels set in Japan
The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon
“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist
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