Things To See, Do Near Fushimi Inari Taisha
Fushimi originally means “Underground Water”, and appropriately is the name of a city that is famous for its springs. However, when most visitors to the Kansai region of Japan hear it, it conjures images of the famed Fushimi Inari Taisha. Of course it’s easy to understand why. With its multitude of crimson torii gates climbing the side of the mountain, it truly is a wondrous sight to see. And if you take the time to venture all the way to the top, you’ll see the splendor of Kyoto laid bare before your eyes.
But what might not be known is that there’s more to the area than the renowned temple. Being a convenient Kintetsu or Keihan train ride from Osaka, and south of Kyoto City itself, it’s well worth the trip to Fushimi. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive is that it’s a quaint, picturesque and peaceful place, compared to the hustle and bustle of Kyoto city, or even Fushimi Inari—at least it was when I visited.
So…what can you do in Fushimi aside from strolling along its quiet streets and marveling at its tree lined canals?
Well, for one—and if you happen to like it—you can spend some time exploring the different rice wine breweries that it’s famous for. The city is actually referred to as Kyoto’s sake district because the waters in the area are said to be ideal for wine production. Many of the distilleries don’t seem to have changed much over the years since they’ve kept their wooden construction and historic appeal.
There is also a sake festival usually held every March. If you happen to be a connoisseur of these fine spirits, you’ll enjoy being able to taste 30 or more different varieties. In addition, there’s an assortment of craft beer manufacturers and a craft beer festival, though it’s not been as long running as the sake festival and it takes place in June.
The Teradaya Inn
Another interesting attraction to Fushimi—and one that’s great for history buffs—is the Teradaya Inn. Located close to the Horai Bridge which spans one branch of the Yodo River, the inn was the scene of an event referred to as “The Teradaya Incident”, which would eventually lead to the Meiji Restoration. Standing in those historic rooms, you can’t help but feel the tension that must have existed during that monumental time. Much of the inn, as well as a statue in its garden is dedicated to Ryoma Sakamoto who had an eight-point plan for modernizing Japan, and whose letters have formed the basis for many books, films and TV dramas.
There is definitely a feeling of history and nostalgia when you walk through the small, quiet streets of this city. So if you want to sample this piece of the past, I recommend you take the train ride to either Kintetsu Momoyamagoryo or Keihan Fushimi Momoyama station and begin your date with time. With its festivals, canals, breweries and history, a journey to Fushimi City is something that you will not regret.