Journey Through a Thousand Gates – Fushimi Inari

The moment we got off the train, I started craning my neck, looking for all the orange. Yes, to be honest! lol. Even if you have never heard of the Fushimi-Inari shrine, I’ll bet you’ve seen pictures of those reddish-orange torii gates, stood closely together forming like a tunnel. And a scene from Memoirs of a Geisha was shot here, Who can remember? :p20160401_142154-01[1]20160401_142208(0)-01[1]The torii gateway snakes all the way up the mountains, creating several tunnels of redness amidst the heavy greenery. It was beautiful and as you can Imagine me on my first time visit, would be like, non stop snaps even if they all look the same. lol.20160401_143347-01[1]20160401_143349(0)-01[1]20160401_143348-01[1]The significance of the shrine located at Fushimi Inari is to honor Inari, the Shinto god of rice. You will see foxes sculpture throughout the grounds, as they are said to be the messengers for Inari. Each torii gate was donated by companies and individuals thankful for their blessings, the long tunnel of toriis is one of the most iconic and sacred landmarks of Kyoto. But, if you’re more interested in sightseeing than knowing the history, you can still enjoy the Fushimi Inari shrine. There’s so much to see and you could easily spend over four hours exploring the offerings of the religious site.20160401_142216-01[1]20160401_142354-01[1]20160401_152556-01[1]20160401_152558-01[1]I actually had no idea how much hiking would be involved just to get up the mountain. (My bad! I never made a search on this) So, we just followed the trail with boldness? haha! As it gets steeper, freezing cold as we get higher, sadly, I just can’t. Too bad to stop at the middle of the hike but I literally felt like grasping for air. Nasal flaring to its highest level. Sorry. I fail. haha! The torii tunnels are literally going up to the top of the mountain, and if you are tough enough to climb the whole thing, then it would be a very rewarding feeling when you reach the top. 20160401_143926-01[1]20160401_143612-01[1]20160401_150219-01[1]20160401_144559-01[1]20160401_144613-01[1]

Okay, back to the main entrance after the failure hike with these kawaii ladies. :p 20160401_152819-01[1]20160401_152810-01[1]

If you can make it at the top of the mountain you surely will witness a beautiful scenery but like me who fail the hike, haha! Just head back, food stalls are waiting for you! lol. (the main reason why I’m no longer fit) I must admit! :p
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GET THERE AND AROUND

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Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line (5 minutes, 140 yen one way from Kyoto Station, not served by rapid trains). The shrine can also be reached in a short walk from Fushimi Inari Station along the Keihan Main Line.

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Coat/Romper/Turtle neck top  Dotonbori Shopping Arcade

Vintage suede shoes F21 Osaka Japan

Loose-type Backpack Esprit

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Kinkaku-ji: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

Kinkaku-ji Temple, in all its majesty is something you must see with your own eyes to believe. A stunningly beautiful temple covered in gold leaf, even seeing it in person feels almost illusory. It’s as if viewing a famous painting for the first time. But it is so much more than just art, it is a piece of history that solely rests in the peaceful pond of Kyoto.20160402_142656-01[1]20160402_142641-01[1]

Admission is ¥400. 20160402_141746-01[1]

Walking towards the Golden Pavilion, you’ll see the hojo, (Ooops! this ain’t yet the temple) lol. :p This is actually the head priest’s former living quarters. 20160402_141542-01[1]20160402_141538-01[1]

Voilaaah! From afar you can see the glimmering glory of this temple reflecting its beauty in the surrounding pond. 20160402_142028-01[1]20160402_142251-01[1]20160402_143109-01[1]

The Golden Pavilion, as it’s commonly known, was originally built in 1397. It withstood wars and time only to be burnt down in 1950 by a monk suffering from mental illness. The current temple is rebuilt in 1955 based on the original structure and more extensive gold leaf coating was used in this version. In all its glistening glory, stands as a legacy of medieval Japan. It is a World Cultural Heritage Site and one of seventeen locations that comprise the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. 20160402_142448-01[1]20160402_142524-01[1]I wasn’t expecting it to be that gold! lol.
And as you walk past the temple is a small native hut with pretty old mementos. They also sell some souvenir! :p20160402_143215-01[1]

Just follow the pathway inside the temple grounds and it will lead you to their zen garden.

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There’s still a lot to see though, infact there is also a silver temple located nearby called “Ginkaku-ji”. Despite the name, the temple isn’t covered in silver but is believed to have earned its name from the moonlight reflecting on its dark exterior, which used to be covered in black lacquer. It isn’t not a waste if you can’t make it to the silver pavilion (my tip) :p

Pathway heading out flooded with tourists 🙂20160402_144253-01[1]

From Kyoto Station:

Slowest and easiest route:
Bus #101 or #205 from Kyoto station, about 40 minutes, ¥230.

Fastest route:
Karasuma line train to Kitaoji, 13 minutes, ¥260. Then take bus #101, 102, 204, or 205 to Kinkaku-ji, 10 minutes, ¥230.

As per my Itinerary, I spent half day in Arashiyama district  (Click to read post). Leave the Scenic Countryside of Kyoto around 1 or 2 to visit Kinkakuji temple. You probably will end around 4-5 depending on the crowd, traffic etc. and just nice to be back in kyoto station before sunset. If you are planning to take the shinkansen ride bound for tokyo then this I say is the most time efficient course if you still want to explore kyoto before leaving for tokyo on the the same day. ENJOY!

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