Beyond Toyokawa Inari Temple’s ornate zelkova entrance and behind the main temple building, lies a stunning sight. Around 1,000 stone statues of foxes, each wearing a bright red bib, populate a hillside known as Reikozuka.
As dedications to the temple from those whose wishes have been fulfilled, each fox statue has its own unique expression, and they watch over worshippers like guardians of the grounds.
Located in Toyokawa in eastern Aichi Prefecture, the temple is dedicated to Toyokawa Dakinishinten, a Buddhist wish-granting female deity often depicted riding a white fox. Many, however, visit the temple to also worship Inari, a Shinto deity of fertility, agriculture and prosperity, who is also associated with foxes.
At Toyokawa Inari Temple, free guides are available to explain the temple’s history. You are also invited to join in a prayer ceremony and purchase a talisman and enjoy Buddhist vegetarian cuisine in one of the ground’s Japanese-style rooms.
Less than one hour by train from Nagoya Station. About 7 minutes walk from JR Toyokawa Station or around 6 minutes from Meitetsu Toyokawainari Station. Alternatively, 10 minutes by car from Toyokawa Interchange (IC) on the Tomei Expressway.
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