Travel Beyond Fushimi Inari Shrine: 9 Best Things To Do in Fushimi, Kyoto

By Ryan Noble
Updated: May 22, 2024

If you’re coming to Japan, there’s a high chance that visiting Kyoto is somewhere near the top of your to-do list. And, while in Kyoto, we’d also bet that seeing the iconic red torii gates of Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of your must-see sights.

Now, you absolutely should see the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine while you’re in the area — and we’d even recommend it as one of the best things to do in Kyoto’s Fushimi district — but that’s not all there is here.

Here is our list of the top 9 things to do, see, and eat in Fushimi, Kyoto!

9 best things to do in Fushimi, Kyoto

  1. Climb to the top of Fushimi Inari Shrine
  2. Relax on the river with a traditional boat cruise
  3. Go souvenir shopping
  4. Join a Japanese tea ceremony and savor wagashi sweets
  5. Explore a sake museum and sip on sake
  6. Join a sake brewery tour in the Fushimi sake district (with lunch!)
  7. Make traditional mochi, dango, and matcha
  8. Japanese home cooking class in Fushimi, Kyoto
  9.  Explore Fushimi and join a miso and mochi cooking class

1. Climb to the top of Fushimi Inari Shrine

The many steps of the hiking trail up Fushimi Inari Shrine, walking through thousands of vermillion torii gates.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is going to be at the top of every Fushimi-related blog, and who are we to deny its position as one of the most memorable spots in Kyoto? 

It’ll take around 2-3 hours for a round-trip hike of this shrine mountain, perhaps a bit more if you save time for enjoying the views, browsing the different shops and shrines, and most importantly, stopping for a breather when you realize how many steps there are. 

Although this attraction is far from the only thing worth seeing or doing in Fushimi, it’s certainly an experience you’ll be glad you made time for.

2. Relax on the river with a traditional boat cruise

A covered river boat in Fushimi, framed by the eye-catching autumn leaves.

After all that walking, floating down Kyoto’s gentle Go River on a Fushimi River Cruise sounds like paradise. Take a seat on a traditional covered boat and let the the sights of this historical city float by, transporting you back to a simpler time.

Running throughout all seasons of the year, you’ll always have new colors and foliage to admire. At ¥1,200 for middle school students and above, ¥600 for elementary school students and below, this is an affordable way to relax on Kyoto’s waters for 40-50 minutes.

Take a look through the calendar for availability by day and time, then book your tickets

3. Go souvenir shopping

The exterior of a Kyoto souvenir shop, showing off all kinds of wares for sale.

For something to remember your time in Fushimi by or to keep friends and family happy upon your return, remember to buy a souvenir or two in the local omiyage (souvenir) shops. You’ll find plenty of charming shops dotted around, many of which are located at the base of Fushimi Inari Shrine, and you’ll be able to buy everything from local snacks and good luck charms to fridge magnets and jewelry. 

Pro tip: Kyoto is famous for its matcha green tea, so picking up some matcha-flavored sweets or refined matcha powder will keep you in their good books for a while!

4. Join a Japanese tea ceremony and savor wagashi sweets

The table at a Japanese tea ceremony class, featuring wagashi and matcha tea powder.

On the subject of tea, there’s no better place to embrace the culture and history of the Japanese tea ceremony than in a 100-year-old traditional Kyoto machiya (townhouse).

Join this Japanese tea ceremony and wagashi sweets experience — located only a 5-minute walk from Fushimi Momoyama Station — and you’ll be guided through the specialized craft of tea ceremony in Japan, with all its unique customs. 

After seeing a demonstration, you’ll learn how to make matcha yourself and pair its bitterness with the gentle sweetness of wagashi, traditional sweets in seasonal designs almost too elegant to eat.

Want to wear a kimono? For the full tea ceremony experience, you can also rent a kimono (male and female sizes available) to wear for the duration of your ceremony.

Sip on Japanese tea and savor wagashi sweets in Kyoto! 

5. Explore a sake museum and sip on sake 

A pyramid of sake barrels at the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum in Fushimi, Kyoto.

Ever wondered how Japanese sake is made? Join this private sake museum tour and sake tasting in Fushimi, where you’ll be taken on a 3.5-hour tour of Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum. Soon you’ll be an expert on the history, culture, and production processes of making sake, all before tasting three cups of sake for yourself. 

Sake and a river cruise: If sake and a scenic river cruise sounds like your ideal day, pair this tour with the Fushimi River Cruise mentioned above — they’re right next to each other!

Join this private sake tasting and sake museum tour in Fushimi! 

6. Join a sake brewery tour in the Fushimi sake district (with lunch!)

As the sake district of Kyoto, you might be tempted to join a sake brewery tour in Fushimi. Set in the Gekkeikan Okura Brewery — the site of the museum and sake tasting tour above — you’ll likely want to pick this or that experience!

So, what sets this Fushimi experience apart? Well, after sipping a few local sake, you’ll be taken around the Fushimi sake district before stopping at the local shopping arcade for lunch. It’s ideal for soaking up the alcohol (or adding to it) before restarting your Fushimi exploration.

Book this Fushimi sake brewery tour with lunch!

7. Make traditional mochi, dango, and matcha

Mochi, dango, and taiyaki laid out on a lacquer serving traying at a Japanese dessert cooking class.

In the traditional streets of Kyoto, you’re going to cross paths with the classic Japanese sweets of wagashi before long. So, don’t be a stranger! 

Learn the art of Japanese sweets in this wagashi-making class in Fushimi, where you’ll get a sneak peek into a local Japanese home and make authentic sweets like mochi ice cream, hanami dango, and taiyaki. Enjoy your creations alongside a freshly whisked matcha and let your friends know you’ll be bringing a few new skills home with you.

Book this Japanese desserts cooking class in Kyoto!

8. Japanese home cooking class in Fushimi, Kyoto

Guests at a Japanese home cooking class, smiling at the camera in front of a feast of traditional Japanese food.

To step into the cozier side of Kyoto cuisine, join this Japanese home cooking class in Fushimi. Welcomed by your host in a local Japanese home, roll up your sleeves — you’re about to be cooking with traditional Japanese foods and ingredients, creating dishes like tempura, Japanese-style rolled omelet, miso soup, sushi rolls, and mochi ice cream.

To further your understanding of Japanese cuisine, your host will then take you around a local supermarket where you’ll learn about the ingredients used in your cooking class. 

Learn to cook Japanese food in this Kyoto cooking class!

9. Explore Fushimi and join a miso and mochi cooking class

A smiling room of guests at a mochi-making class in Fushimi.

In this miso and mochi-making class in Fushimi, you’ll learn to appreciate the subtleties between five different types of miso soup and hone your craft of Kyoto-style ozoni, a mochi soup that’s often enjoyed around the new year.

You’ll also take a guided tour outside of the kitchen and see the streets beyond Fushimi Inari Shrine, where you’ll join the locals in the long-standing tradition of mochi-tsuki (mochi pounding).

Make mochi in this Fushimi cooking class in Kyoto!

Still got a bit more time in Kyoto? You’ll need our 3-day itinerary, the best vegan spots in Kyoto, and more food tours in Kyoto you should add to your to-do list.

Fushimi FAQs

A stone Fushimi Inari Shrine guard, holding a scroll in its mouth. It is set against a blue sky.

How many torii gates at Fushimi Inari?

It’s estimated that the Fushimi Inari Shrine has about 10,000 torii gates in its entirety. This may sound impossible until you see it for yourself, seeing how these iconic red gates wind their way up the entire mountain and back down again across multiple hiking paths.

How long is the Fushimi Inari hike?

It takes about 2-3 hours to hike up and down the Fushimi Inari Shrine hiking paths. This will vary slightly based on the path you choose to take, whether you stop along the way for a spot of mountainside lunch, and if you can tear yourself away from the sweeping views of Kyoto from the top of the mountain.

We strive to be as accurate as possible and keep up with the changing landscape of Japan's food and travel industries. If you spot any inaccuracies, please send a report.
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Ryan Noble
Ryan’s love for Japan may have begun with Naruto — something he refuses to hide — but it only grew once he truly understood the beauty of this country’s language, culture, and people. He hopes to use that passion to bridge the gap between Japan and the rest of the world, shining the spotlight on its hidden gems and supporting the revitalization of rural regions.
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