2018 Incredible Japan – Day 14 Part 1

FUSHIMI – shrines in the sunrise

Friday – another early morning – we are meeting in the lobby at 5.15am so that we can venture out in the dark to be at the Fushimi Inari Shrine at sunrise.

We will grab some coffee and a snack on the way because we have to come back to the hotel for breakfast.

When we get to Kyoto station it is an opportune moment to visit one of the vending machines and get hot coffee in a can – – can’t start the day without coffee and although being quite dubious how this will taste let me tell you it was delicious and yes, it was hot.

This shrine is one of Kyoto’s most popular tourist attractions and as such we will hopefully avoid the tourist hordes and also capture the Shrine in the changing light.

If you click on the above link it will tell you about the Shrine – if you don’t then I will tell you that there are about 5,000 Torii gates that snake their way up the mountain.

The photo above is at the start of the gates – but further up there are two tunnels of gates so let’s hope that we get some good photos.  We are only there for a short time and then the lights go out – so only natural light from now on – –

This 8th century shrine, dedicated to the god of rice and sake also features dozens of statues of foxes. The fox is seen as the messenger of the god of grain foods, Inari, and the stone foxes are often known by the same name. The keys often depicted in the fox’s mouths are keys to granaries – but more about the foxes later.  Let’s concentrate on the orange gates.

The writing on them denotes a donation made by a company or an individual along with the date of the donation – must have made a lot of money as nearly every post has something written on it.  Then again it could say ‘this space is available’.

I arrive at the beginning of the twin walkways and select a good spot; I am lucky that no other photographers are there – yep, spoke to soon – I no sooner get the tripod and settings ready to click and then the typical photo bombers prance right into my view – – I wait and wait but the idiots are never ending – time to move on before I commit murder or serious injury – – – and I never did get a nice clean photo of the two walkways,

Up and up I go – sometimes the walk uphill is not too bad – sometimes there are lots of stairs –









and then sometimes there are little rest areas amongst the trees –

This was as far as I got – the stairs you see in the above photo were just too much and, after talking to some members of our group who were more adventurous than I, the stairs became more steep and continued to wind their way up the mountain until your head was nearly in the clouds.

Time to walk back down which, hopefully will be full of photographic opportunities.

I know by this stage you are thinking ‘not more bloody orange gates’ and of course you would be justified in thinking that, however it is such a magical place you really should just look and enjoy and maybe think about going there one day.

On the journey down the mountain, it’s amazing that I see lots of little gardens, monuments and bridges that I never noticed on the way up.  Maybe I was just concentrating on the amount of stairs and the steep climb and how much heavy breathing I had to do.

Arriving at the entrance, there are still loads of people coming in so it definitely was a good idea to come early.

Even though the weather has not improved and remains overcast it is not cold and it is not raining so that’s a good thing.

Once we have all re-grouped it is time to think about breakfast back at the hotel so it’s back on the train, a quick refresh, put the batteries on the charger and then downstairs for brekky.

The breakfasts in this hotel are wonderful – certainly a delicious start to the day even though this breakfast is a tad late – it is around 9am.

Wonderful mushrooms, bacon and potato not to mention my trusty Vegemite for my hot toast.

Of course there is always a little dish of shredded carrot, radish and assorted veggies.  Definitely a healthy way to start the day.

I will have to track down those type of mushrooms when I get back home.

We now have some time to relax before we head off for more public transport to Kinkakuji – the Golden Pavillion.

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