When Is the Best Time
It's an amazing year-round destination. The shrine is open 24h and never closed. (the shrine office opens 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM). Avoid weekends or try to be there early in the morning: This way, you can enjoy this beautiful place without other tourists. My photos were shot before 6 AM. You should also consider visiting at after dusk: The shrine is lit up at night! This offers a very different and beautiful view of. However, it's one of the lesser visited shrines in Kyoto and not heavily crowded except for new years celebration (see below).
The shrine is popular in Japan and mostly visited by domestic tourists. Since 2014 it's also a well-known place for visitors from Thailand, since the Thai movie (Timeline) was shot there. Since the shrine is popular for new year celebrations, it's heavily crowded during the first two weeks of January.
HIGHLIGHT/FLOWERS: The outer garden of the shrine is part of Higashiyama Park: It's very famous for it's azalea flowers. There are about 50,000 bushes of blooming azalea in April and May, creating a magnificent view. Since azalea flowers are blooming only 4 weeks, the highest chance to experience this view is from mid-April until mid-May.
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Where and Tips
It's one of Japan's three major Inari Shrines. Yutoku Inari Shrine is located in the city of Kashima, Saga Prefecture. It was build in 1687 to enshrine a spirit from the Inari-jinja located within the Kyoto Palace. It is worshiped as the guardian of living such as food, housing and clothing as well as business and family prosperity.The contrast of the vivid vermilion colors of the buildings and the surrounding greenery is very impressive. The main architecture, including the main shrine, front shrine as well as the two-storied gate is completely coated in lacquer.
Spring festival Tamagae: April 8
Autumn festival Ohitaki: December 8
GETTING THERE: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e8… (scroll down)
> Since the shrine is a little out of the way, it's best visited by rental car. There are 2500 free parking spaces.
OPENING HOURS / FEES:
Shrine: Free, open 24h (office 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM)
Shrine Garden: 200 yen, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Shrine Museum: 300 yen, 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM