As an adventurer, there was a place in Kyoto that I was really attracted to visit when I was staying there, Fushimi Inari. Besides the Shinto shrine, there’s a hiking trail, which special characteristic is to be covered by thousands of torii, japanese shinto gates. Really popular tourist spot, Fushimi Inari is a good exercise and wonderful views all along the hiking trail.
The Inari, are the spirit foxes that protect the shrines, and Fushimi Inari is also a particular place for spirits, ghosts and mysterious stories regarding the hiking trail and surroundings of the shrine. If you like this stories, Keep reading to know a bit more and see some photos.
I started planning my trip with an early lunch in Kyoto, and then headed to Fushimi Inari by train. The hiking trail is supposed to take between 2-3 hours, enough time to be back to Kyoto before dinner time.
It was summertime so the most important thing to care about was to be hydrated all the way. In case there wasn’t any vending machines I filled my backpack with a couple of sports drinks before starting. The other thing I bought was a fox mask. I just went straight to buy it, I thought it was a nice mask regarding the fact that foxes are the spirits that protect the place, and still have it with me.
The sensation of passing through all those gates was indeed relaxing, a little breeze and shadow was incredibly good for the hot and humid summer. It is also summertime when most of the stories take place. Foxes appearing here and there, music festival when there’s nothing around, people disappearing or spirited away for hours.
Along the trail there are many spots to observe and get out the main trail, perfect chance to take a break. With a slow pace it took me a little bit less than two hours to arrive to the top and breathe. Side by side with many other tourists, it was unexpected to find some of tourists from my hometown Barcelona. There at the top of the hill we exchanged some impressions of Japan and hoped for a good journey back.
After a few minutes recovering and wandering around it was time to go back. There weren’t any other tourists around so it was easier to wander and observe nature without distractions, keeping a good pace, it was only 3PM when I started to climb down.
Maybe I was wandering too much, maybe not, but what I know is that when I arrived at the bottom of the hiking trail it was already 11PM and almost made it on time for the last train back to Kyoto center. That’s seven hour walking down the hill, when it only took me a couple of hours to go all the way up. Also, at some point I realised I was walking in circles because I ended up in the same spot of the lake twice, but even with that, I don’t know where did my time go in Fushimi Inari. I heard a similar story from a friend a couple of years later, where they don’t know what happened with the time climbing down the hill after sunset.
That won’t stop me to go there again and enjoy the delightful views and hiking trail that offers Fushimi Inari. Maybe next time I have an even better story to explain.