The top choice of tourist locations in Kyoto, ranked by TripAdvisor, is Fushimi Inari Taisha. The primary reason most foreign visitors come to Fushimi Inari Taisha is to explore the mountain trails. It is also famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates (鳥居 / とりい).In this article, I will describe my personal experience of visiting it on 11/30/2016.
Why Fushimi Inari Taisha?
Besides thousands of vermilion torii gates (鳥居 / とりい) and miles of hiking trails flanked by beautiful autumn colors, the visit of it is free unlike other main attractions in Kyoto.
After climbing to its summit, you will be rewarded with a glimpse of Kyoto's skyline from the distance. On the trail, I have met elderly locals walking with cranes and one American fellow visitor climbing with his fractured ankle. This says a lot about its appeal.
Each torii gate engraved with name and date also seems to tell a story because it was donated by someone from a different year. The one existing for a longer time, you can tell its age by its partly moldy and decomposing black-colored foundation.
On the day that I visited, I was also rewarded with beautiful autumn colors. Maple, Ginkgo and other trees with unknown names displaying their most beautiful colors dotted here and there along the trail.
Places to Rest and Relax
Along the trail, there are shops providing you places to rest and relax by serving foods and snacks. To quench my thirst, I have bought an ice cream on the way to the summit—that location also offered a nice view of Kyoto's skyline from the distance.
The time I have spent on the trails that day was almost four hours in total. On the way down, I have spotted a nice restaurant offering noodles with a nice view of surrounding trees. When I entered the restaurant, there was no body but myself. Not until 20 minutes later, were two other girls from Hong Kong encouraged enough to join. So, the whole beautiful scenic view framed by windows were solely enjoyed by three of us.
After I descended to the bottom of the trails, I saw many people were buying foods from the booths and kiosks. Instead of sitting down to enjoy the Nature on the mountain, people have chosen to stand and buy foods from the street vendors. This different mind-set strikes me as odds.
In the 12-day journey of Japan, I have always traveled long distance and stayed out for a whole day. So, finding a resting place with a quiet and beautiful view was deemed as godsend by me.
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