Counted among Japan's top three Inari temples, Toyokawa Inari in Toyokawa, Aichi Prefecture, is dedicated to the god of a prosperous business and safety for the family. Since its founding during the Muromachi period (1330s-1573), the temple has attracted the faith of renowned warlords including Nobunaga Oda, Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Ieyasu Tokugawa, as well as scholars such as Kazan Watanabe. Even today, several million worshippers visit the temple every year.
Reiko-zuka, the hill of divine foxes
After praying in the main building, a spot definitely worth seeing is the Reiko-zuka, a hill located beyond the walkway lined with 1,000 votive banners behind the main hall. There, an array of around 1,000 stone foxes create an astonishing sight, each of which has been dedicated by a worshipper whose wish has been fulfilled. Because these foxes represent a collection of gratitude for fulfilled prayers, the area, a so-called accumulation point of successful experiences, makes it a popular power spot for bringing luck and attracts many visitors.
The temple town outside Toyokawa Inari is busy with more than 100 eateries and souvenir shops. A local specialty you should not miss is the Toyokawa inarizushi, which is sushi rice packed into sweet seasoned abura-age (fried tofu skin). The sushi is said to have originated when rice was stuffed into abura-age offered to the Inari god, the divine fox whose favorite food is, of course, abura-age. Nowadays, many shops have come up with their own creative twists on inarizushi, such as ones with miso pork cutlets and grilled eel on top, and you can snack on them as you stroll around town.
|Web Sites||(In Japanese) https://www.toyokawainari.jp/|
|Address||1 Toyokawa-cho, Toyokawa-shi, Aichi|
|Access||3 minutes' walk from JR Toyokawa Station or Meitetsu Toyokawa Inari Station|
|Business Hours||9:00 to 17:00 (Telephone reception hours)|