KYOTO: Lost in Tori Gates and Bamboo Trees

We got to Kyoto from Tokyo Train Station on a Hikari Shinkansen at 9:30, so it was past mid-day that we had the time to enjoy Kyoto. My boyfriend and I didn’t waste any minute and headed straight to this tourist information center – for free wi-fi at first and information later. We had our destinations in mind before departure to Kyoto, but decided to skim through the attractions and how to get there.

God must hate us, once we finished our hot delicious bowls of udon at the train station’s self-serviced shop, it poured over. We could barely hold our sigh. So we waited, spent that time looking for a coin locker room, which wasn’t as hard to find as in Tokyo.

1,000 Tori Gates @ Fushimi Inari-taisha

Sun shone just enough for us to catch the Nara Line heading to Inari Station for Fushimi Inari-Taisha, the templed is famed for its 1,000 Tori gates.

Kyoto is perfectly small or it is perfectly filled with many attractions that make it convenient for visitors. As a habit, we google everything beforehand. We could see that the walking to Fushimi is over 2 km. We both freaked out before reaching Inari Station. But well, we worried for nothing. Off the station is the attraction itself.

I wasn’t impressed by the entrance but the merchandise. There were so many. Just 800 yen and you can leave your own mini Tori gate to hang for a few weeks at the temple. I could write a wish or even my name on but I didn’t. Capturing photos of those mini gates was fun enough.

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Mini tori gates

Like Kiyomizu-dera, Fushimi Inari-taisha offered a holy cleansing well. You could drink it with respect to bring good charm for yourself.

Entrance to the Tori gates was a complete battlefield of men and cameras. Busy shooting, selfie-ing, people flooded the place that hadn’t dried up after the afternoon rain. I couldn’t bear the crowd so my boyfriend and I headed further or higher into the Tori mountain. It was called a mountain but seemed like a hill to us. The slope was fine and we could manage trekking upward. Up there, more space for photos were found and I was more than happy to strike a pose.

Enjoy these photos we captured under bad lighting (thank you rain!)

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetBamboo Forest @ Arashiyama

“All the railroads lead to Kyoto Station” – I made this up, but it’s true.

Unlike the massive metropolis infrastructure in Tokyo. Kyoto is far more humble, smaller than a major district. All the railroads take Kyoto Station as its major intersection. That so, from Inari we headed back to Kyoto Station before arriving at the famous bamboo forest. Took the San-in Line to stop at Saga-Arashiyama Station, we had to walk a long way to the forest (according to the maps). So for an easy ride, we just hopped on the taxi for 500 yen to get there, since the evening was drawing near.

Arrived no later than 4 PM one fine afternoon, but once entered, the sun🌤 shyly hid away behind the bamboo shade.🎍🎍 Impressed by how massive the grove could be, I wandered and felt the evening breeze came chilling down the spine. If this bamboo forest had ever inspired a scene for Japanese horror movie I wouldn’t be surprised.

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