Japan, part four.
If you haven’t already, here are parts one, two and three. For the sake of brevity, I’m going to combine Kyoto and Mount Fuji into one post. Technically, that was something like three to four days of the trip but let’s be honest, I could write about this trip forever. So here goes: from Hiroshima, we took the train to Kyoto and went to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, the orange gates pictured below. To be honest, it was totally overrun with people and relatively tricky to navigate. Not the best introduction. That night we visited a food court for dinner before exploring the train station and glimpsing Kyoto Tower from a few vantage points.
On our first full day in Kyoto, it was more of the same, visiting the Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion and Nijo Castle and Gardens, both very crowded. In between, we spent a peaceful hour at the Daisen-in Zen Rock Garden, where the gardens follow the circle of life and reinforce the basic principles of Zen Buddhism. Slightly off-putting is the gift shop at the tour’s end. That night we booked it over to Gion in hopes of seeing the geishas arrive for work. Since it rained that day most came by cab, but we did see a few from behind the glass. The following day was free time, so Jesse and I took a local train out to Arashiyama to visit the monkey preserve and see something outside the city.
After one more night in town, we hit the road for Fujikawaguchiko in hopes of seeing Mount Fuji. We stayed at a lovely hotel in a tiny resort village that unfortunately wouldn’t allow people with visible tattoos into the onsen. We walked around, bought souvenirs, got a quick peek at part of the mountain and attended a kaiseki dinner. It was a quick stay but worth seeing for sure. One more leg to go, back in Tokyo.
Images above: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, temple phone, Kyoto Tower, Gion, monkey park, Arashiyama, onsen hotel, the elusive Mount Fuji