Mount Oiwa & Oiwa Shrine
The Abandoned Oiwa Shrine and the Artist Domoto Insho
- 3 hr3 hours
- From ￥10,000From ￥10,000
- Fukakusa (Fujinomori Keihan), Kyoto
Without a doubt, the most famous and popular hike and shrine visit in the Fukakusa area of Kyoto is Fushimi Inari Taisha, further north from here. Getting away from the crowds and closer to nature a hike over Mount Oiwa and Oiwa Shrine is much more of a satisfying journey. The route up the hill and the shrine holds a sense of mystery for those looking for a more adventurous feel than a touristic stroll through well-trimmed greenery. Mount Oiwa is also known as Mount Mikakusa (Honorable Grass), earning this title after grass from the mountain was used to feed the horses of the first Tokugawa Shogun, Ieyasu, when he visited Kyoto in the early 17th century. A wooden red Torii gate marks the entrance. Oiwa Shrine was started by the Kii clan after they were apparently forced out of their original Fukakusa area by the Hata clan, who had established a shrine at Fushimi Inari in the year 711. Mount Oiwa became their holy place to worship. During the Onin War (1467-1477) the shrine was damaged by fire. Restoration didn’t happen until Meiji times in the late 19th century when the Kubo family set about the task. The area is also of interest to nature lovers. A signboard on the way up highlights some plants that can be found growing wild in the woods. The sound of birds in the trees is also ever present. The HIDDEN PATHS route starts at Fujinomori Keihan station and also takes in the tomb of 9th century Emperor Ninmyo, before starting the walk to and up Mount Oiwa. From the base of Mount Oiwa to the top takes a steady 30-40 minutes and is not too challenging a hike (though appropriate footwear is required). The route then leads down and then on towards Fushimi Momoyama Castle if you wish to extend your walking route (why not make a day of it and head on into Fushimi town and the sake breweries?!). For full information on this walking route please contact HIDDEN PATHS - Walking Historical Kyoto. Tour can be offered in English and Japanese (check for availability and requirement).