Exploring Fushimi Inari

I’m up early because it’s suppose to be a gorgeous sunny day and I want to walk through Fushimi Inari Shrine before the crowds show up. I’m able to book another night at the hostel but will be in a different room. I write a note for my roomies but I don’t have a room number to give. I leave my bags in the reception area and plan to check in again later. I stock up on snacks.

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It’s later than I would have liked but the crowd is small and, oh, the light….! I’m so happy that I get to experience this shrine in all sorts of lighting. 🙂 Get ready for a lot of photos. IMG_9347

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On my first visit I stopped here.

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It was my last day in Japan and it was hot. I asked an exchange student how much farther to the top and it was too far… That lies! The top in fact was not much farther and is anticlimactic. There are no views nor does it feel like the highest point. There are signs stating that this shrine is the top. I run into the guy who took this photo a few minutes later and tell him that we were at the top! Poor guy had to go up the stairs again. IMG_9387

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I’ve had enough so I head back toward the old billboard. There’s a path here and I take this one down instead of the usual way, which is getting crowded. IMG_9422

I don’t know where this goes… I end up on a residential street but see an interesting path going the opposite way. Naturally, I’ll go that way. It leads me behind someone’s property, through a tiny bamboo grove and back toward another path leading up to Fushimi Inari. Of course, there’s a bunch of shrines.

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I turn back and get onto another residential street with more tiny shrines. I love it.

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I see a couple talking ahead of me in broken English. It seems one is lost. I ask if they need help. The woman is lost and a local (?) was trying to help. Fushimi Inari is like that. She needs to get back to the main entrance to meet her friend. We walk together toward public transportation rather than her climbing over the mountain. She’s working in Japan for a short time and has time off today. It’s nice to make new friends! We take the scenic route through some temples. What else really? This one was underwhelming with a small exhibit. The flowers are pretty though. Untitled

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We finally make it to the bus stop and part ways. I’m not sure what to do… I meant to check out the shops in front of Fushimi Inari. I want a fox. So I start walking back through the quiet residential streets. I stop at a vending machine for coffee and a snack. I start again…

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Of course there’s a shrine or two on the way. Untitled

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Now I’m here! I can’t find any foxes I like and settle for a cell phone charm instead. And food.

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I take the metro back to the hostel. And find myself walking again… briefly through a cute alleyway and some anime shop. I end up with snacks. Untitled

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One last story though, my favorite. I’m walking along the river and there’s a bunch of restaurants facing this way to take in the great view. Ahead of me is a guy with binoculars looking in one of the restaurants! I take my camera to zoom in to see what he is seeing. He’s spying on geisha (maiko?)! IMG_9479

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The guy notices that I’m looking too so he comes over and gestures to borrow his binoculars for a better look. And I do! Can’t be rude, right? Oh my, that’s the end of that story. 🙂

Back at the hostel, I’m all settled. Tomorrow I’m leaving Kyoto for Nara. Can’t wait to see the deer!

 

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