Tiered Torii – Fushimi Inari

Rays of morning light peak through the vermilion-colored torii gates of the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine in Kyoto, Japan.


In 2015 my father and I planned an impromptu trip to Japan.  After spending a few days in Tokyo, we took the bullet train down to Kyoto.  While there we visited several tourists spots, including Arishyamaa and the Higashiyama District.  We even fed Japanese macaque monkeys.  But, the highlight of the trip was the hike to the top of the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine.  The shrine, known for its endless rows of vermilion-colored torii gates, is a surreal setting for both tourists and photographers alike.

When I returned to Kyoto in 2018, I made it a priority to, not only visit, but photograph Fushimi Inari Taisha. Unfortunately, the destruction from Typhoon Jebi had forced large portions of Kyoto, including parts of the shrine, to close. Despite this minor setback, I was able to photograph the smaller torii gates of the outer shrine early one morning.  With the shrine nearly to myself, I photographed rays of morning light as they peaked through the torii gates.