Japan 2019 Day 2 Part 2 - Climbing Fushimi Inari

Jun 12, 2019 4 min read


Not yet…I can still go on…


Previously on…

There’s still lots to see in the North but, nope, my body is done.
So let’s head all the way to the South to climb a mountain instead.

Wasn’t sure if my travel pass covered this train line. Guess I can just try putting it into the gate and see what happens. Boop boop. Nope.
I looked up to see both the senior and junior attendant behind the counter making a big ❌ with their arms in perfect sync.
Good thing my SUICA card works in Kyoto.


This is a fancy looking train. Some of the carriages have 2 sets of floors too.


Took this opportunity to try Fujifilm’s app to transfer some photos from my camera to my phone to upload them to the social medias but the thing just crashes.
No wonder it only has 2 stars on the app store.



I feel ok. That train break revitalised me. A bit.



Follow the crowd.


It’s busy in the afternoons. I probably should’ve stopped to eat something from these food stalls.

Fushimi Inari Shrine


I’m here.
Fushimi Inari is the head shrine dedicated to the God Inari, AKA the God of Foxes…and fertility…and rice… tea…sake…business…
Patron to blacksmiths…warriors…merchants…actors…prostitutes…

Dude’s important. A third of all the shinto shrines in Japan are dedicated to him/her/them (Inari has had quite a few different depictions throughout history).

kon kon

The fox/kitsune are Inari’s messengers. All the fox statues on this mountain are carrying something in their mouth and there’s like a hundred of them.

How long do you think your cage can hold me? Foolish mortals.


The famous Instagram spot is right at the beginning of the trail. The torii gates are the densest here.
You gotta get here early in the morning if you don’t want the crowds spoiling your selfie.



This blog post has been brought to you by…everybody.
All the torii gates on the mountain are donated. If you’re a poor peasant you can donate one of these chibi ones instead. The gates big enough to walk through start at ¥400,000.


It’s like I’m entering another world.


Spooky.


The sponsor of each gate is written on the back.


The mountain is also open 247 with the main pathway lit up at night.
This place must look so cool in the evenings though that’s also when wild animals come out.

japan.exe has stopped responding


Stray cats also live on the mountain.


Um, this doesn’t seem like the right way.


Yeah, don’t graffiti in another country or in any country.
This permanently damages the bamboo.


The crowd quickly thins as you climb up the mountain.


This sponsor has recently purchased the maintenance pack.

Cat


40 minutes later, I’m halfway up where there’s a clear view of the city.
Got here sooner than I expected. I was planning to time my arrival with the sunset.

Well I’m not going to wait around and I feel like I’ve seen enough. Back down I go.

The sacred shrine dedicated to the God of exploitatively priced vending machines.

Neko


Taking a different trail down.


I’m surprised to see some houses up here. Even saw a postman on foot. The world’s fittest postman.


While Inari is officially exclusively a part of the Shinto religion now after a restructure by the Japanese Government, some Inari shrines still have a blend of Shinto and Buddhism.



Back to the world of humans.

Fushimi Inari is super cool and well worth the visit 👍


I like how Google Maps even has the trail paths mapped out.

Kyoto Station


>when you need Google Maps just to find your locker



But since I’m here, might as well check out that Bic Camera. Looks like it’s just round the corner.


Everything is a lie.


Hello Kitty is a tax evader.

mini doggu


Evening rush hour.


Fok, walked past the exit.


I made a mistake. It only looked like it was just round the corner because of Kyoto Station’s size.

*snap*


These are some weird looking cameras.

Help yourself


Oh no.


Ah, culture.

I shouldn’t have made this visit to Bic Camera. Now for the long walk back to my locker…

Photo stolen from 北島薫 on Google Maps

Kyoto Station is big enough to have its own mall inside it with tons of fancy restaurants but fancy restaurants are expensive. I walked past this place, tucked away in a corner, partially hidden by a set of escalators, called Spicy Masara Curry.
The brightly lit signs inside a dimly lit train station and the allure of a social-less ordering vending machines drew me in.

Photo stolen from T Nomura on Google Maps

Thanks, T Nomura. This is exactly the seat I sat in. Now I can use this to relieve my memories of finally getting a real chance to rest after being battered by a long day of walking with insufficient sleep.

The restaurant was staffed by an elderly man and woman.
The man would collect tickets from the customers and loudly announce their order to the woman in that Japanese worker sing-song manner. The woman would then sing it back to confirm and work on the order.
Seemed unnecessary since it’s a small shop and they were standing right next to each other. They could’ve read the order ticket themselves. It did add to that comfy Japanese restaurant ambience though.

Shinkansen Premium Beef Curry.

It was good. The portion was kinda small though for a curry shop and I had to buy a salad too.

Those pickled leeks in the background were so good, I took like 20 of them.
So good that I tried to buy some when I was back in the UK but I couldn’t find it in any of our supermarkets. I had to go to the Asian import store Wing Yip in Croydon to find any.
I tried buying pickled onions but they’re too strong. Pickled leeks are sweeter, softer and less acidic.

Also, I shit you not, the ice in my drink jiggled.

So I’ve spent 3 days in Kyoto, the culture capital of Japan, during my lifetime now and I’ve had…
Mcdonalds, a konbini sandwich and fast food curry. One meal for each day. H-Haha…
I have a really hard time being a normal human being when I’m in sightseeing mode.


Oh hey, it’s the Skytree Kyoto Tower.

Standing 131 meters tall just across from Kyoto Station, Kyoto Tower (京都タワー) is Kyoto’s tallest structure and a rare modern iconic landmark in the city famous for its ancient temples and shrines. The tower was completed in 1964, the same year as the opening of the shinkansen and the Tokyo Olympics.
A viewing platform is located 100 meters above ground and affords a 360 degree view of Kyoto and as far as Osaka on clear days. - Japan Guide

And…this is where things went wrong.

???

Got on a bus with the right number and route but I noticed 10 minutes in that the bus stops weren’t matching up with what’s listed on Google Maps.
Turns out this route has buses going in both directions. I wasn’t going to sit there for over an hour so I got off.
Ok Google, where am I and how do I get to the hotel from here?
Ran across the road to catch the bus that just turned up. Dropped my umbrella out the door. Guy waiting at the bus stop threw it in for me. *sumimasenning intensifies*
And…this bus is going the wrong way too…


At least this route seems to be taking me near a train station.
I don’t know where it’s headed though so I got off as soon as I realised.
Fuck it, I’ll walk.


Sigh, I just want to sleep.


Thank God, it’s Japan. This already feels sketchy enough as it is.

Good thing I brought the 4-wheeled suitcases this time.
>kicks down the hill
>it topples over halfway


Woah, a double railroad crossing. I’d feel so anxious if I got stuck in the middle island.


At least I’m making the most of my day travel pass. Pro travel tip.

Well, this train isn’t covered by the pass so it still cost me more than not getting lost in the first place.

Kawaramachi


This area feels familiar already. It’s where I stayed last time I came to Kyoto.


Oh hey, it’s the chain I plan to stay at on my last day.


Oh hey, they have this shop in Japan too.


Finally 😩


They made me watch a video tutorial on check-in while a queue formed behind me. This would have been 1000x quicker with a bullet point list.

>Oh btw, you'll have to pay a ¥200 city accommodation tax.
Why didn’t you include it in the price?

The receptionist spoke native english which was a plus.


This was the nicest bed I slept in all trip. So much comfier than the typical capsule pod.
It was only £25 per night. Apparently one of the branches in Tokyo comes with free beer too.

The bed is convertible.


You get a sliding drawer underneath to store your luggage, not something you’d find in a typical capsule hotel.
Many don’t even have luggage lockers and you have to leave them behind a reception desk.

Each pod comes with a screen that you can lock from the outside so this is the only capsule hotel I would feel comfortable staying at for more than a night.


This is the future. A key and light switch that you need to charge and will cost you a £100 if you lose it.


Dongle theft has become a real problem, evidently.


Oh man, these toilet seats are heated and each cubicle is a fully noise-isolated room too.
Completely shut off from the world, everything from today finally caught up with me and I just kinda melted for a while, not moving a muscle.



Clean, modern facilities.

Weird, why is this shower at the end inconsistently spaced from the rest?
Oh, a corridor. Looks like it’s leading into the boiler room…as well as a second door?


OWO
Holy shit. It’s a bath.
There’s no hooks or anything for the bath so I dumped all my clothes on the floor in the corridor. You can lock the first door. Hope no one needs to access the boiler room.

Man, Japanese baths are so deep. I can sit up and still be covered up to my shoulders.
This is the best~


I was originally planning on exploring this area and having dinner here in the evening but, after the whole getting-lost-thing and falling asleep in the bath, it’s now past 9pm.
Good thing I had that curry in the train station.

kill me

>walking back to bed
>yep, my feet still hurt


I paid a few extra quid for the projector addon but I couldn’t get it to work.
They gave me a massive bag of adapters and dongles when I checked in.
Dunno whose fault it is but I was too tired to do anything anyway.
All I wanted was to make a Windows is updating joke.


Some of the tickets from today.


H-Haha…


Super packed day. Thankfully I have less planned for the rest of the trip. Now to die.

Next time…