Sasuke-Inari Shrine, built in gratitude by Yoritomo Minamoto
After destroying his archenemy, the Heike clan, the first shogun of the Kamakura Era, Yoritomo Minamoto established Sasuke-Inari Shrine in gratitude. Following Yoritomo’s success, the shrine was said to have been beneficial for prosperous business, good luck in work and academic achievement. The Inari god became known in olden times to bring results for the harvest.
The fox, as an envoy for the Inari god, protects the shrine
Climbing the stone steps of the brilliant red torii gates, there are statues of foxes everywhere on the shrine grounds. At the conferment place, you can purchase a statue of a fox which you place anywhere on the grounds. To the left of the haiden front shrine is an old collection consisting of a countless number of inari foxes of varying sizes that are crowded together as if they are celebrating a festival which makes for a wondrous sight. To the right is a cave known as the Reikosen where a fountain is located. Taking a look into the cave, cool air hits the visitor’s face and there is a divine feeling. Squirrels can often be seen within the shrine grounds, and they are so accustomed to people that they can come close enough to pet. The path to the haiden and honden main shrine is on a slope, and the mountain road going past the honden becomes very steep. That road is the Daibutsu hiking course, and since it continues on to Zeniarai-Benten Shrine, it’s good to see the two shrines together. The path up is somewhat steep so for those with the physical strength, it’s best to start from Sasuke-Inari while for others, it’s best to start going down from Zeniarai-Benten.