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Takayama Inari Shrine

Where the fox meets the dragon

Inari shrines are identified by their red torii gates and fox statues. Takayama Inari Shrine (高山稲荷神社​)has a bunch of both. Foxes are the messengers of the deity Inari. From life-sized stone foxes to small white foxes in tiny houses, the dozens of foxes here are all said to be "retired". Having served their purpose of protecting other shrines across the country, they are sent to Takayama Inari Shrine when too old or breaking. Now they rest here in eternal slumber.

To reach the retired foxes and the main shrine, you'll need to walk through 201 torii gates. From a distance, you can see why the locals say the gates resemble a dragon. A long line of red zigzagging​ up the hill looks like an ancient Chinese/Japanese style dragon in flight!

The whole scene and atmosphere is amazing at Takayama Inari Shrine. Highly recommended.