The Fushimi Inari shrine is one of the most photographed shrines in all of Japan. By looking at my photos below, it’s easy to see why. As someone who enjoys photography, it can be difficult to put the camera down and appreciate the view. Often times I find myself seeing shrines or monuments only through my lens. After hiking about half way up the mountain, and realizing that fact, I just sat for a while overlooking Kyoto. Since starting my travels, this was one of my most peaceful moments, and a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city below.
I chose to hike up at the end of the day. As the sun went down, the bugs started to come out, and only then did I realize some bug repellant may have been a good idea. But a few mosquitos were a small price to pay for less crowds and a front row seat to the sunset over the city.
A pleasant little surprise was the amount of kittens running around different parts of the shrine. Some of them were a bit skittish, but these two hairballs below hung out for a while; guarding their portion of the shrine.
The last portion of the hike was my favorite. The sun slipped beneath the city and it lit up the shrine perfectly. Make sure to follow the path to the best of your ability to the bottom. I ended up getting slightly lost and walking through a small neighborhood, but finding the train station turned out to be quite easy, and I was well on my way back to the center of the city.
After getting back into the center of Kyoto, I lingered at Kyoto Station for a quick bite to eat. Upon exiting, you have prime viewing of Kyoto Tower, which is best seen at night – especially with some green tea uiro.
Tonight, I journeyed back to Tokyo for one final night, and then it is off to Seoul tomorrow!