Sasuke Inari Shrine

This lovely tunnel of orange torii is like a gateway to another world.

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.

As you climb the path to the various sub-shrines, you pass little villages populated by lucky fox figures left there by pilgrims.
As you climb the path to the various sub-shrines, you pass little villages populated by lucky fox figures left there by pilgrims.
Halfway up the hill is this beautiful wooden building surrounded by fox figures.
Halfway up the hill is this beautiful wooden building surrounded by fox figures.
This shrine is well known as a power spot, as you can see by the number of fox figures offered here.
This shrine is well known as a power spot, as you can see by the number of fox figures offered here.
Near the end of the hiking loop is the most extensive fox village.
Near the end of the hiking loop is the most extensive fox village.
The moss is really breathtaking.
The moss is really breathtaking.
In the shady hush of the deep forest, it's almost possible that as soon as you leave, the foxes will come alive.
In the shady hush of the deep forest, it’s almost possible that as soon as you leave, the foxes will come alive.
Each small shrine is more beautiful than the last.
Each small shrine is more beautiful than the last.

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

Note: 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.

MAP

Jonelle Patrick writes mysteries set in Tokyo

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