Hiking at Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto: Map: At Inari Station – JR Line.
Daniel and I landed in Osaka from Taiwan around 10:30 pm and we were worried about catching the train since it was already late. With my backpack strapped and my overweight luggage tightly gripped by both hands, we ran to find the train station and, luckily, we managed to jump on the last train out. As I was catching my breath and raising my hand up to Daniel for a proud high five because we caught the last train, a sudden shock jolted my system. It’s the same shock, the same fear of when you are standing on stage and you just realized you’re butt naked and everyone is staring at you. I suddenly realized my energy, my breathing, and my proud high five were loud! Everyone on the train was staring at me and yup, I felt butt naked and like an ignorant tourist…I knew then I needed to reign in my energy and my sassy mouth to blend in and to respect the Japanese customs.
We made it to our tiny, but satisfyingly efficient hotel. Everything had a purpose and fitted perfectly in to its designated place — this made my OCD-ness very happy. Our plan for the next day was to take a 30-minute train ride to Kyoto in the early morning and spend the whole day there. However, Daniel came down with a flu-like symptoms so we took it easy and ended leaving Osaka pretty late in the afternoon.
Kyoto is a breathtaking city and is known for having many majestic temples and shrines, but we all know that once you see one temple/cathedral you’ve seen them all. Therefore, I picked to visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine.
I really like this shrine because it offers these 4 wonderful experiences at no cost to you (except for donations):
- The washing of hands before stepping into the shrine.
- The prayer and ringing the bell process. After you finish praying/wishing, you ring the bell above of you to make sure all of the angels up there hear your wishes. Remember to donate some spare coins before you send up your wishes.
- You get to experience gorgeous traditional building structures and to indulge in the 10,000 torii gates as you hike the 4km ~ 2.5 miles trail to the top.
- Most importantly, you get to hike up the mountain and be mesmerized by the picturesque landscape of Kyoto at sunset.
I’m weird, but I really don’t like visiting places like museums and shrines unless I can accomplish something while I’m there. I’m a child in an adult body because I get easily bored if I just walk through a building and not doing anything engaging. Thus, hiking was my activity and made me appreciate the shrine even more. I have to give a shout out to Daniel here for doing this hike with me and for me after his flu-like symptoms he endured in the morning.