So you want to see the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, the Monkey Park and see the sun set over Kyoto all in one day? If you’re prepared to do a lot of walking up steep inclines and are equipped with a good night’s sleep then it is possible! So grab yourself a Pocari Sweat and let’s start!
How’s your energy? Still alive? Good! We’re headed over to the Fushimi Inari Shrine now! Catch a train over to Inari Station and start exploring before the sun sets. The Fushimi Inari shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Shinto god of rice, so as an asian I felt a deep sense of communion with this place. As you enter through the first giant torii gate you start to feel pretty good about yourself, but the real challenge is the thousands of gates that come after it. Although most people come here for the thousand torii gate walking trail into the mountain’s forest, the surrounds are worth a look around too. But as it was winter when we visited, light was low and we wanted to complete the climb before night fell. Make sure to bring your own water because the vending machine prices get higher the higher you climb.
As we were climbing we came across a few cats. There are so many cats around the mountain and there’s actually a man who comes everyday to feed them. It’s quite surreal! Midway through the climb I bumped into my friend Goldie! It was so serendipitous to see a familiar face miles and miles away from Sydney. Goldie and her boyfriend run a very popular lolita YouTube channel called Deerstalker. They also document cosplay events in the most badass way.
When you reach the Yotsutsuji intersection in the middle of the climb you will be presented with an amazing view of Kyoto. Now a normal person would sit here and watch the sun set over Kyoto, but our group was a determined bunch – we wanted to reach the top. You think there would be a beautiful view of Kyoto at the very top and you would be able to scream at the top of your lungs and nobody would hear you. But the reality is quite depressing, it’s just a sign and a graveyard. We actually walked past the top and went off trail because it was so insignificant, but hey, if my mother can do it so can you. I personally don’t recommend going the whole distance, but I had already climbed so far… so why not?
Look who we bumped into again on our way down the mountain!