Fushimi Inari-taisha

I wake up to the sound of tiny feet stomping around in the hallway above us. It’s constant. Up and down the stairs, up and down the hall, up and down the walls. Some little kid is burning around the hotel making one hell of a ruckus. He never stops running. And jumping, and singing, and yelling. Clearly this kid wasn’t out drinking until the wee hours last night like some others in the hotel. This seems like a parenting faux pas to me, it’s been going on for a half hour. Everyone must be awake at this point. New Rule: Wear earplugs even if it doesn’t seem like you’ll need to.

I get up and Queenie is already getting ready for the day. She’s got the tv on in our mini apartment living room. “Oh, Donald Trump is here in Japan”, “Fuck sakes, really?!” I was really really hoping to get away from that giant orange distraction. He followed us. What an asshole. “Ugh. Please turn that off, we’re on vacation.” The face at the bottom is kinda funny actually.

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We decide to opt for a different breakfast option than Cafe Rose today even though that place was excellent. There’s a modern looking spot just down the street called Choice that looks good. Pop in and it turns out to be another great option. It’s a classy little spot, all vegan and fully delicious.

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A pesto penne with goat cheese and red peppercorns. Numz!

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Queenie gets a quiche and side salad. Both are scrumptious

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After breaky we go to the subway entrance by the river but it’s all blocked off. Wtf? Thanks Trump. Is he coming to Kyoto? Ahhhhhhck!! There’s a cute little dog taking in the scene. Wha? The sirens lift on the police cars here?

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We walk by the river down to Gion station to nab the subway to the Fushimi Ward in the South East quadrant (the Philosopher’s Path and temples we visited yesterday were North East). We’re headed to Fushimi Inari-taisha, another iconic shrine in Kyoto.

It’s a nice walk by the river

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Get off the subway and there are soooooo many people here. It’s the weekend. I do recall reading something about going to Kyoto during the weekdays. Yeaaaah, that’s right, there were a lot of people around last night too. And we baby stepped around Higashiyami Jisho-ji yesterday. New Rule: Do Kyoto on weekdays.

We follow the throng through some vendors and it opens up into the courtyard of a colorful, orange shrine

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Pretty magnificent but it looks like we came in the side entrance. Gotta go get that front gate.

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A couple of Kitsune (fox) statues guard the entrance

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This one has a key to Inari’s granary. I like the QR code audio guide feature.

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Alright map, what are we getting into here. Ahh yes, all of the orange gates leading up the mountain. Classic. Time to take the Worship Regular Route.

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This is the spot with all of the torii gates called the Senbon Torii. These gates were donated to the shrine as thanks for a wish that came true or to make a wish. There are 10,000 of them here. It makes for a cool pic inside but, of course, impossible to get one without people in it here on the weekend. Unless you’re Narcopiggy

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You can purchase a little fox mask here to draw on and make a wish. Good grades for all!

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We take a detour from the throng of peeps along the Worship Regular Route and decide to investigate another area. It leads up to another small shrine and a beautiful bamboo forest.

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More prayers tied to a tree

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Often times a small bottle of sake is left as an offering at the shrines. We joke about starting our own line of sake called For Fox Sakes.

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There are far less people up here and the bamboo forest is peaceful

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Shark up!!

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We walk along the path by the bamboo forest for a bit and come to another area where the foxes are painted and wearing lil bibs.

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Holy Fox!

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There are a ton of little torii gates and mini shrines in this area

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Bird up!!

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Someone left a little origami fox on this one. Pretty cute

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There’s another one of those paper fortune cupboards here. I think we got all the fortunes we needed back in Ueno Park

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We’ve gone a little far to turn back and continue up the Worship Regular Route so we bail out a side exit onto a little road beside the Fushimi Inari-taisha that seems like a residential side road. There are some farms here, lemons, limes, vegetables and a school of some sort. Just the sound of birds. Strange to have suddenly ditched all those people into this serene back street. There’s an owl somewhere nearby.

Is this a mailbox?

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This small detour is a fairly nice walk through some tiny side streets and well manicured houses.

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We pass by one that has a bunch of tanukis out front! Oh you little trickster with your giant testicles, I want one so bad!

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It takes a little longer than expected but eventually we find our way back down to the front entrance of Fushimi Inari-taisha. Now there are a bunch of girls in traditional kimonos on a tour here. One wanders into my shot and poses. It looks like the fox is creeping up on her.

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All that walking has made us a bit hungry so we see what all the local vendors are peddling out front. We get a bite-sized bacon-wrapped rice with fried cheese on it. Yum!

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We get some Mugwort Matcha as well!

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Back at the metro there is a line outside a sushi spot. We’ve got some time to kill before our train comes so, why not?

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My first question is of course fish content. This helpful sign describes what’s up. Fried tofu and rice and vegetables? In!

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Looks good!

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Grilled chicken?! Yas!

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Good sights, good eats, what’s next? It looks like there are 1001 statues in some place called Sanjūsangen-dō nearby. We can hit that on the way to another temple called Kiyomizu-dera that looks impressive and probably has a great view.

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