This shrine is located in Tsugaru City, Aomori Japan. Takayama Inari Shrine is very similar to the famous Fujimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, but is by far less known.
Inari shrines are characterized by the abundance of red torii gates and fox statues.
When you first arrive you’ll have to climb a really steep staircase (If you cannot climb stairs, don’t worry there is a slope off to the side).
Once you get to the top there will be a big shrine, and a number of smaller ones too. Which gives you the chance to catch your breath after climbing up all those stairs.
Then surprise! There will be another staircase, but this time you’ll have to go down. After you descend there will be a big beautiful shrine and big red torii greeting you on top of a small pond.
It truly feels like you enter a different world at this point.
After you pass this shrine you will walk through about 205 red torii gates which leads you on a winding path through beautiful Japanese gardens. When I went it was cherry blossom season, so I got to enjoy beautiful blossoming trees as well as the bright red gates. If you have yukata or kimono this would be a beautiful place to take photos!
Once you make it to the end you’ll be on top of a hill and be able to see the gated path you just walked through.
The path is said to resemble the body of a dragon. If you squint hard enough you can see it.
You’ll also be greeted by a plethora of fox statues.
Foxes in Japanese lore are thought to be the messengers of the deity Inari. This shrine houses life-sized stone foxes all the way to small white foxes inside tiny houses. These foxes are said to be “retired”. They come from all over Japan and are sent to Takayama Inari Shrine after they have served their purpose and are now too old or falling apart.
Thanks for reading and I hope you get the chance to visit this beautiful shrine!