How many Torii Gates …

Today we were definitely going to get our fill of shrines and gates with a visit to the Fushimi Inari Taisha.

Fushimi Inari Taisha is a mountainside Shinto shrine dating back to 711 AD with a path leading up to Mt. Inari passing through 10000+ Torii Gates.

It took a short train ride of a couple of stops from Kyoto on the Nara Line to Inari Station. We knew we were at the right stop as the packed train emptied out and crossed the road to the shrine. Our Aussie friends were a couple of trains behind but didn’t take long to catch up on the path. The number of people at the shrine and on the path was enormous but the crowd thinned the higher the path went up the mountain.

The larger Shrine buildings were at the bottom of the mountain but the became smaller the higher you went up with lots of spots with multiple shrines. The Torii Gates were non stop pretty much all the way up and down. They were placed by businesses and farmers to pray for success. There are now 10000 all painted in vermilion red. Bradley even managed to find a monkey. We spent a couple of hours checking out the shrines and gates, making it to the summit then back down to the Main Shrine and street food alley that took you back into town. We sampled many different types of food, some of which I am not sure what it was but was tasty.

It was back on the Nara Line from Inari to Kyoto. The rest of the group headed off to Arashiyama to check out the bamboo forest. I headed off for a walk to the Kyoto Railway Museum. It was an amazing museum with steam trains ranging from the first ones used on the Japanese rail system then onto electric trains and even shinkansens. It is a big complex with crews maintaining and restoring trains as well. There was even an impressive working train set with many of the trains used now and in the past. They run a lottery to be able to drive a shinkansen driving simulator and I was lucky enough to win a drive.

Not much to it with brake off and throttle on and maintain speeds depending on where you are. Well I didn’t crash into anything so must have been OK. The others had made it back from the bamboo forest and were waiting for me at Kyoto Tower Starbucks. The museum closed at 530pm and even with 2.5 hours I didn’t get to see everything. While waiting for me, Bradley managed to find a massage salon just around the corner in the Daiwa Roynet Hotel that was reasonably priced. We all went for a massage with a full body massage for 60 minutes only costing Y3210. It certainly made a difference.

As Bradley and Rachael hadn’t been up in the Kyoto Tower, Jenny and Justin went up with them. I sat downstairs and had a Frappaccino. We were going to have pasta at a restaurant on the way back to the apartment but since they only took cash and we had exhausted our cash supply for the massages, we headed to 7/11 for some takeaway meals. What is it with the lack of credit card use in Japan. Back to the apartment to give the microwave a workout then off to bed.

Tomorrow we head to Osaka and Universal Studios. Record day for steps with 20954, 16.7km and 84 floors. That massage was definitely needed.

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