Started of the day with a wander up the road to see Higashi Hongan-Ji, the equivalent of the Vatican for one branch of Buddhism. it’s the home of the biggest wooden structure in the world is; just a shame it’s undergoing renovations and is enclosed by a steel sheel. Then a couple of blocks up the road to Nishi Hongan-Ji the older branch that the Higashi mod branched off from (splitters!). And in the temple gift shop I got Vanessa’s fan.
Then via the Post Office to the train station and two stops to Fushimi-inari-taisha. That’s the place that was in “Memoires of a Geshia” with the long tunnels of Tori (the orange arches). It is much much much much bigger that I realised, the paths go all over the mountain through the woods and there must be thousands of different individual shires to the fox gods.
And when you get up the mountain the view across the city is fantastic.
It’s damn hard work though getting up there, and there were hardly any people about other than at the little shops along the path selling candles and other offerings for the shrines. I came back down a diffent path – emrged in a residential street and just kept going downhill thinking I’d find the train station again when i stumbled upon Tofuku-ji which has a cracker of a Zen garden and some rather impressive buildings. Once I’d bought a ticket into the place I found out where the hell I was and I realised I’d come down the mountain to the next train stop along the line.
I popped back to Fushimi-inari-taisha to buy some fox spirit charms and then got the train back to Kyoto station which is a pretty impressive modern building in it’s own right, and from the 11th floor roof garden you get some good views.
By then my feet were utterly knackered so I came back here to the hostel via the mini-mart to get some dinner, oh and some pocky sticks. When I’ve recovered I will probably head out and do the night time walk in my guide book.