In this post I’m going to write about two trips that I’ve made recently.
First, some friends and I went to the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto (伏見稲荷大社), which is the head shrine of Inari, the Japanese God of foxes, rice, agriculture, industry, etc. I learned that about one third of all the shrines in Japan are dedicated to Inari (around 32 000 shrines), and that number only includes those with a full-time resident priest working there! We spent a few hours on the trek climbing to the summit and returning to the entrance. However, we are not sure if we actually reached the top or not, as it was not clearly marked, and the mountain is full of trees! When we had climbed a little bit more, we came to a site where we could buy some souvenirs and pay for them by just putting a donation in a box! I managed to get a few nice shots of the torii gates and the beautiful surroundings. Fushimi Inari is one of the most popular shrines in Japan for foreigners to visit, and I highly recommend a trip there!
Secondly, we went to Arashiyama (嵐山) by bike and visited the monkey park they have there! The climb up the mountain reminded me of Fushimi Inari’s steeps steps, although the hike up was much shorter in terms of kilometers. Finally, atop Mt. Arashiyama, we were welcomed by a large group of monkeys! On the way up, we were warned by a sign to not look the monkeys directly in the eyes, and also to not touch them or give them food.