Fushimi Inari Shrine has a variety of festivals and ceremonies throughout the four seasons. Here are some of the main events.
February - Hatsu-uma Taisai Festival This festival memorializes the day that Inari Oh-kami (the deity of rice) came upon San-ga-mine (the triple peaks) of Mt. Inari, which was the first horse day of the year. It is a day to pay respect to the infinite power of the deity. "Fukumairi" is another name for the day, meaning to pay a visit to the shrine to pray for good luck for the year. It is considered to be the first festival of the year in Kyoto.
April - Inari Matsuri Festival (aka Shinko-sai Festival) The Inari Oh-kami deity makes a tour of the local parishioner areas once a year in this period to offer divine virtues. This is the most important festival of the shrine. Until May 3rd, the day the deity returns, the Otabisho of Fushimi Inari Shrine (the resting place for the portable shrine being moved about during its festival) is crowded with many parishioners.
July - Motomiya-sai Festival At this big festival, all those who venerate the Inari Oh-kami deity at branch shrines all over Japan will visit the head shrine here in Fushimi to give thanks. On the eve of the festival vigil, a ceremony is performed and all the lanterns in the precincts of the shrine are lit, including lanterns all over Mt. Inari.
November - Hitaki-sai Festival (Fire festival) This is a festival expresses gratitude to the Inari Oh-kami deity for bountiful nature and abundant crops. Hundreds of thousands of wooden sticks with prayers written on them will be burnt, while everyone chants the words for the purification rite together, praying for health, happiness and the expiation of sins.