kyoto 2013: day three

I know this last post on our trip to Kyoto is straggling behind, but, as they say, it’s better late than never! (I still have some Tokyo pictures to go through too, but that will have to wait.) On our third and last day in Kyoto, we only had the morning to go around because our Shinkansen back to Tokyo was scheduled at 2pm. That meant we really only had time to leisurely visit one place. So, off to  Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社) we went! A Shinto shrine dedicated to Inari who is the patron of agriculture (but also fishing, commerce and productivity in general),  it is noted for its many torii (gates) donated by businessmen praying for good fortune in their industries.

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Entrance to Fushimi Inari Shrine. The first of many torii we would see that day!

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The Fushimi Inari Shrine site map. The place is huge!

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I knew there would be hundreds, maybe even thousands of orange torii (gates) there, but I never realized they went all the way up a mountain! Since we weren’t going anywhere else, we decided we would brave the 2-hour path up and down the mountain. It’s not an easy climb, nor is it torturously bad either, let’s just say you have to be wearing the proper attire. I was definitely wishing I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts instead of my long-sleeved chambray shirt and pants that day!

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There were a number of ways up the mountain, this is one intersection among a few.

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Kitsune (fox) faces! I love that people drew their own versions on their wish blocks!

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I felt sorry for these kids who were going up the trail with their giant backpacks. Most of them looked pooped! And this was only the halfway point.They’re super adorable though!

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My sister among the torii

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There were tons of little shrines on the way to the top

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You could buy some of your own mini-torii at the pitstops and coffee shops along the way

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One of the fountains for cleansing

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It was tiring to climb up and down the mountain, and the shrine at the very top did not look any different from the other ones along the way, so it was a bit anticlimactic in that sense. The journey was quite interesting though. Just being able to see the different fountains and statues, going up the winding paths always somehow sheltered by torii, breathing in the mountain air and just being surrounded by forest and trees was pretty cool. And then, there was also a sense of accomplishment in thinking “Ha, we made it the whole way!” especially as we watched others who gave up at the halfway point and turned back. *chuckles* I don’t know if we’d recommend other people to go all the way up like we did, but it was definitely an experience!

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