There was a legend that a warlord of the area claimed a miracle had happened on Mount Inari and many farmers clammered to the region in order to begin receiving plots of land in return for taxes on their rice they produced. The God of this mountain became the God of Agriculture.
Over time, this God, one of over 35,000 Shinto Gods, became worshiped particularly by merchants and tradesmen, and is the patron deity of swordsmiths and is associated with brothels and entertainers. Wow.
Though this Shrine originated in the year 711, a little west of where it sits today and was moved here about 100 years later to its present spot, there were not too many actual buildings that survived over time. The Shrine itself today was mostly built in the late 16th century.
Over time, it was thought that if you made a donation to this God, you would have good luck in your business so people began purchasing Torri Gates. Some are small enough to be held for a few thousand yen and the largest ones can costs a little south of $13,000USD.
You get your name engraved on it and the date you made the donation and they are painted not red, not orange, but what is described as a vermilion color. This color can be found in Rome, India and China and is said to scare away evil spirits.
Though foxes are present everywhere, as they are perfect for business being sly and cunning, since the Shrine was founded in the year of the Horse, there is a great white horse statue on the property in its own little Shrine. Make a donation and it is said the horse will help carry your business on its back.
The hike around Inari and through the large Torii gates, which number about 4,000, take a little over 2 hours. My tours here give you back stories, history and information. Please let me take you.