Second day in Kyoto resulted in 16 too many mosquitoes bites, sore feet, but an overall healthy fitness hike up a beautifully constructed mountain path.
First thing in the morning … donuts! 🙂 I may have loss my sense of what is expensive and cheap, but $1 (100 yen) donuts seemed like a pretty good buy. The store was “Mister Donut” and they doughnuts were freshly baked with a perfect balance of sugar and flavor.
Upon arriving at the Fushimi Inari Shrine, i could see masses of uniformed students trailing behind their elderly teachers and another load of tourists armed with their cameras and smartphones aimed high.
One consistent element of the temple was the fountains of running mountain water. There were stations of these supplied with wooden ladles and multi-language instructions on how to use the “holy” water. The water was not to be drunk but to be used to cleanse one’s hands. I highly appreciated these stations of cold mountain water, especially as we hiked closer to the steep mountain top because it was refreshing to wash our hands after sweating against the hot summer sun for hours.
Also, there was a section of the temple devoted to colorful assortments of paper cranes that had been gorgeously complied into long strands.
A lot of previous visitors adding their own wishes, prayers, and even lighthearted doodles onto decorated wooden plaques and notepaper.
After getting past all the tourist traps – shops selling overpriced merchandise and attraction stands trying to get you to pay for your fortune, we finally got to see Fushimi Inari’s main appeal. There were tall red gates that crafted a tunnel path up the mountain and shrines along the way honoring the fox deity.
The atmosphere of the place was simply charming. It would be a wonderful place to live aside from the fact that you were a mountain-climb away from “civilization”.
Super photogenic dog that we met along our way to the top! 😀
So thirsty after the long hike, I bought a few more soft drinks from the vending machine. The soft drinks get pricier and pricier as you go up the mountain 😦
We headed to the Kyoto Train Station to have lunch at a ramen restaurant. I had a small dish of fried rice that costed $2, but it was one of the best i’ve had in a while.
Simple dinner, trying to enforce healthy habits!