One of the things I find most difficult about travelling with another person is if you have different sleeping schedules. I am an early riser, especially when I travel. I like to be up and out exploring by 9am at the latest. But so far everyone I have travelled with likes to sleep in. In many ways it has been good for me to travel with these amazing people as it forces me to slow to down. The peacefulness of temples and shrines and serenity of beautiful parks make Japan the perfect place to stop and slow down.
Day Three in Kyoto came with a moment of panic. There still so many things I wanted to see and do, but no time to do them all! I had hoped to do a day trip to Nara and another to Osaka- I was much too ambitious in my planning! Despite this, my last day in Kyoto was my favourite day of the whole Japan trip. The top of the days sightseeing list was Fushimi Inari-Taisha and the Philosopher’s Path. To get to Fushimi Inari- Taisha we took a train to Inari station and walked to the shrine from the station. This shrine was lovely! This important Shinto shrine is most famous for the thousands of vermilion tori gates that mark a series of walking paths behind the centre of the shrine. Chances are if you have ever looked up Kyoto on Google or Pinterest you would have seen many, many photos of these gate! There is the option to walk the forest path that leads to the sacred Mount Inari. It takes about 2 hours to do the full hike, but it was just too hot for us to face. However, the small section we did walk was incredible! The bright orange of the gate amongst the forest was a sight like to no other.
We headed back to Kyoto Station and took the 100 bus to Ginkaku-ji, or Silver Pavillion, which is a Zen temple. Originally a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, it became a temple in 1490 after Yoshimasa’s death. There is a very cute little garden we walked through and I practically stalked some lovely ladies wearing beautiful kimonos so I could take photos of them! Basically I spent most of the day playing paparazzi to anyone in a kimono!
We then slowly walked the Philosopher’s Path. The Philosopher’s Path is a stone pathway that follows the canal through the Higashiyama district. Lined with blossom trees this pathway would be spectacular in spring during cherry blossom season. From the path there are plenty of shrines to explore from the path. However, most require an fee to enter so we just looked from the outside.
After such a big day we decided to have dinner somewhere close to our accommodation as opposed to walking down to Gion. We stumbled into a small restaurant called Sou where we had the most amazing meal! The meal started off with a free appetiser consisting of a sushi, tofu in a fish sauce and some sort of meat thing (which I did not eat) Then we had a delicious soft tofu dish with a radish salad and sauce. This was followed by sashimi, tempura and a crab dish. The staff were lovely- it was great dinning experience. The perfect way to end a wonderful stay in Kyoto!