Thursday, November 13, 2014

Kyoto day 5

Our last morning in Kyoto, we packed up all of our bags and checked out of the hotel.  Again, they agreed
to hold our bags for us until we left the city which made things much easier.  

We started the morning with a massage.  Jeff has had shoulder problems since he had a mountain bike crash last march and my neck and shoulders have been angry with me.  The first massage was so good it just seemed like a fantastic way to finish up a vacation.

After getting turned in to relaxed puddles we had to muster up a little energy and headed off to the train to go to the Fushimi Inari Shrine.  This shrine is at the top of one of the hills surrounding Kyoto but the the routes up are covered in torii gates.  It is estimated that there are over 10,000 torii gates at Fushimi Inari.  The original shrine was build in 711.

The bottom of the walk was very crowded (reminded me a little of the bottom of Fuji but much easier walking) but thinned out pretty quickly the higher we went.  Jeff and I went to the top (but had a soft ice cream on the way down).  It's around 4 km each way.  There is a great viewpoint of the city at the half way point but sadly there is no view from the top.  It was a nice walk and it felt good do a little hike.  It was a lot of stairs.

These are the smaller densely spaced gates near the bottom of the hill.

As you get a little higher up, the gates get bigger but the spacing is a little wider.  You can also see that these gates are a little older as the vermilion paint has faded a bit.

The view of Kyoto from the half way point.

The shrine at the top

Stone (cold?) fox.  There were stone foxes of various sizes all over the mountain.  They all held something in their mouths.  They are regarded as messengers and are often found at Inari shrines.

In this picture you can see the carvings on the gates.  These are generally the name or the company that donated the torii gate.  The size of the gate is determined by the size of the donation.
After our lovely walk we headed back to the train station, ate a late lunch, grabbed our bags and headed back to Higashi-Hiroshima.  It was a really nice trip.  There was a ton of things to see and do in the Kyoto area.  We were there for such a short time that we barely scratched the surface.  I can see why Kyoto is such a popular destination for people to visit.

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