Our 3rd day in Kyoto was a last-minute decision. Originally we wanted to spend 2 days in Kyoto, one day in Nara, and 1.5 day in Osaka, but as we both fell so much in love with Kyoto, we decided to save Nara for our future trip and explore more of Kyoto. Our 3rd day there was also our most exhausting day -.-‘ All of a sudden, the sky was clear and the sun was shining, the heat replaced the torrents of that had prevailed the day before. I can walk miles and miles in favorable weather, but even a tiny bit of sunlight can irritate me (as the BF can attest from last year’s trip to KL!), so imagine how a long walk (9am -> 6pm) under the scorching sun indeed drained the life and death out of me -.- I believe that the friend felt the same, because we looked dehydrated, sunburnt, enervated, whipped – basically like walking corpses by the time we managed to drag ourselves back to our hostel. Nevertheless, it was a great day. Kyoto’s beauty never disappoints.
Our first destination of the day was the majestic Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for its numerous torii (Shinto traditional gates). Though it’s located outside the center of Kyoto, the shrine attracts thousands of tourists and hikers every day. It is not only a magnificent structure (I dare you not to go “OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” when you see the endless trail of torii), but also a great place to hike, as behind the main building is a network of trails leading into the forest of Mount Inari.
The main gate:
The main building at the bottom of the hill:
You can see statues of foxes everywhere at Inari, especially at the grave site:
Now the main attraction xD THE TORIIIIIIIIIIIII:
Vermillion is the most dazzling color ever (and it happens to be my favorite color too xD)
After one trail of gates comes another =}
And another… and so on…
The map of the shrine complex may give you some idea of how huge it is:
Still baffled by the out-of-this-world Inari, we again found ourselves at a loss for word at Sanjusangendo Temple–the longest wooden structure in Japan, home to more than 1000 wooden, gold-leaf-covered, statues of religious figures dating back to the 13th century. Visitors are not allowed to take pictures of the statues, but you can google Sanjusangendo and be ready to be wowed. During our time at the 120-meter-long main hall, our jaws dropped at thousands of these most impressive, intricate, beautiful, statutes – this has to be the highlight of my time in Kyoto.
From Sanjusangendo, we took a quick bus ride to Gion, more commonly known as the last Geisha district in Japan today. Like every tourist, we were desperate to see geishas. We ended up seeing two tourists dressing up as geishas (who we mistook for the real thing and fangirled so hard over them; it’s ok though, they looked extremely gorgeous and elegant, and we felt like trash standing in front of them /sigh/). There were also about 4 girls being filmed by a large crew (I assume that they are real maiko/geiko, just without full make up on).
You can see the camera =}
And the tourists dressing up as geisha:
Who cares if they are fake? They looked absolutely beautiful xD
And Gion was a wonder in itself too:
From Gion, it was only 1 bus stop/a very short walk to the famous street of Hanami-koji, a street filled with preserved machiya houses (most serve as shops, restaurants, and tea houses).
The Yasaka-no-to Pagoda:
The old, charming, streets:
Our last day in Kyoto ended like that.. It was a scorching, humid but memorable day. I am trying to forget the
horrible weather, but I will certainly remember Kyoto very, very fondly.