I’ve always been fascinated with photos from Fushimi Inari Shrine, and I felt that my trip to Kyoto wouldn’t be complete without seeing it so I did!
Fushimi Inari Shrine is very accessible. It’s just a few minutes-walk away from Keihan Electric Railway Mainline’s Fushimi Inari station. JR’s Nara Line Inari Station is even closer to the shrine itself.
The thousand gates traversing Mt. Inari might be the most popular feature of the shrines, but there are several structures meant for private worship. More than a photo op or two, Fushimi Inari Shrine certainly offers a taste of Japan’s history and spirituality.
And now, the pics!
what the fox say?! (sorry, just had to say it. haha!) on a serious note, foxes are regarded as messengers and are a common fixture in the Inari shrines
the two-storied gate
like what I mentioned earlier, Fushimi Inari Shrine is more than just the iconic torii. Seeing this map was an “oh, wow!” moment for me
it’s busy in this part of the town all year round. I can only imagine what it looks like during the new year!
While crossing the gates, I’ve been preoccupied to get a clear shot of the gates. It got a little stressful at times and took away some of the awe I should be immersing myself in.
After getting a clear shot of the path, seeing stairs like these remind me that Fushimi Inari taisha is on a *mountain* and before coming here, I’d already been walking all day. But the cool and fresh air kept me going, plus the curiosity over what lies ahead (mostly because I gave up looking at the map)
more shrines and temples when I got back down (I gave up maybe 1/3 of the way because I found the air getting thinner)
it was a joy exploring Fushimi Inari Shrine! Maybe next time I’ll be prepared enough to reach the summit!
There are food stalls and souvenir shops at the foot of the shrine, too.
For me, Fushimi Inari Shrine is definitely a must-see! Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes, get hydrated, and be prepared to climb.
Remember those classic anime scenes wherein the main character oversleeps, hurriedly runs to school, sees the gate starting to close, and revving up to make it in?
That happened to me when I went to Kinkakuji. There was a monk sounding a bell, and another urging us to hurry up. The scene looked like the last stop in an Amazing Race episode. I kid you not, the gates were closed after I got about 10 big steps in.
Probably one of the flashiest temples in Japan along with Kiyomizudera, Kinkakuji is one of the 17 Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites. Access to the main temple itself is restricted, though there are better views of the temple from across the pond. Didn’t get close enough to see the interior, although I noticed the differences in details of how each story is constructed. That, and with a bit of reading, I learned that
- The exterior of Kinkakuji’s second and third storeys are covered in gold leaf.
- The first storey is built in the Shinden style during the Heian period, second in Bukke style used in samurai’s residences, and the top floor in Chinese Zen hall style. Pretty eclectic, and it works.
- The rooftop ornament is in the shape of a phoenix (and I thought it was supposed to be a rooster!!! >_< )
Well, here’s a look at the temple and its garden, plus a side story or two in the pics:
a closer look
the temple partly hidden from trees; early signs of autumn
hojo, the head priest’s former living quarters
a snapshot of the zen garden
A downside to arriving late. Missed my chance to snag these 😦
Kinkakuji is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm. There’s an entrance fee of 400 yen.
How to get to Kinkakuji:
- Via bus from Kyoto Station (40 mins). Take Kyoto City Bus No. 101 or 205 and alight at Kinkakuji-michi stop. The temple is just a few minutes walk away.
- Take the Karasuma Subway line and alight at Kitaoji Station (15 mins). Ride the city bus from there (101, 102, 204 or 205), and alight at Kinkakuji-michi stop. The bus ride will take about 10 mins.
I’m very much fond of cats, and they’re one of my favorite subjects when I’m wandering about.
Here are some of my favorite shots. Enjoy!
These two seem to be waiting patiently for someone to give them food. They look normal-sized too compared to the cats I saw in Himeji^^
This looks like a still from one of those anime openings! Hahaha 😀
I like this one’s pattern. Doesn’t he look regal?
😛 I just had to take this shot before he wakes up and walks away!
I cannot let the opportunity to experience walking though the Sagano Bamboo Grove pass, although I almost gave up in doing so. It was quite tricky reaching Arashiyama from Sakai, Osaka and I used the local trains where I could use my Kansai Thru Pass. Getting to the Bamboo Grove was a good deal though because I’ll get to see Tenryu-ji and its gardens, and I’d have the chance to see the Okochi-Sanso Villa.
That was the plan, but in reality, I just ended up in the bamboo grove and then in Tenryu-ji. (In the guide I tried to follow though, I was supposed to pass through Tenryu-ji first and then exit into the grove. Agh!)
In any case, even if the bamboo grove was crowded, and the path is just around 5oo m long, and there were a lot of people in Tenryu-ji, I still enjoyed being there.