Fushimi Shrine

The entrance into Fushimi Shrine complex

Fushimi Inari Shrine

When arriving at Fushimi Inari Shrine I captured this photo

Fushimi Inari Shrine is the most famous of several thousands of shrines dedicated to Inari across Japan. This shrine ended up being my favourite one in Kyoto.

 It had a very peaceful and spiritual atmosphere.

Fushimi Inari Shrine is also famous for the countless torii gates, offerings by worshippers, which cover the hiking trails of Inarisan, the wooded mountain behind the shrine’s main buildings.

Fushimi Inari Shrine

This is the entrance into the main shrine

This is where the long winding torii gate path starts!!

This is where the long winding torii gate path starts!!

These paths wind up through the mountain and you get to walk underneath thousands of bright orange torii gates all the way.

Here the path splits and you have to choose the short or long route!!

Here the path splits and you have to choose the short or long route!!

You had a choice of two paths that both ended at the same place. I walked the short path as I had boots on and the day turned out to be quite hot. I left Michael to do the long one alone. It takes about two hours to walk along the whole trail and we still ended up reaching the end about the same time.

I had a leisurely walk back and even stopped for a drink and something to eat at a sweet little place next to the road between all the shrines and statues that lined my way.

Fushimi Shrine

The end of my Red Torii tunnel!!

Fushimi Shrine

This little stuffed creature greeted me at the door to the little restaurant

Kitsune Udon (“Fox Udon”), a noodle soup topped with pieces of aburaage (fried tofu), a favorite food of foxes, is served at most of these small restaurants along the hiking trail so I had to try it. It was lovely and very filling. Inari is the Shinto god of rice, and foxes are thought to be his messengers. Therefore, many fox statues can be found at Inari shrines.

One of the many Inari shrines along the path

One of the many Inari shrines along the path

I enjoyed exploring this shrine and was very reluctant to leave.

Entering Nanzenji temple

Entering Nanzenji temple

The beautiful arches of the aqueducts

The beautiful arches of the aqueducts

Nanzenzi Temple was next on my list. This temple wasn’t what attracted me, it was the beautiful arches of the aqueducts.  On top of these ducts still flow small water streams.  Nanzen-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple established in 1291.  This large brick aqueduct that passes through the temple grounds was amazing.

Water flowing on top of the aqueduct

Water flowing on top of the aqueduct

Built during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), the aqueduct is part of a canal system that was constructed to carry water and goods between Kyoto and Lake Biwa in neighboring Shiga Prefecture. Paths run alongside the canal that leads into the surrounding forest.

This arches of this aqueduct were stunning!!

This arches of this aqueduct were stunning!!

It was amazing just walking around and looking at all the people.

Tenryuji temple

Tenryuji temple

I got onto a bus and headed to the other side of town where I went to Tenryuji temple which dates back to 1345. The best part was walking through the bamboo forest behind the temple with an ice cream.

A wonderful way to end my weekend in Kyoto!!