For a long time, I didn’t know much about Japan, nor do I now excel, but when we included Kyoto in the itinerary, I didn’t know a thing about it, nor did I suspect it would be love at first sight. Named the city of 10,000 shrines, Kyoto has been the imperial capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years.
In a crazy impulse not to miss the important sightseeings around Osaka, I discovered Kyoto and I promised I would offer it a whole day. Only at the end of the day, when we had managed to see a very small part of this splendid city, we realized that Kyoto actually revealed its paradise in front of us, and we had nothing else to do but to witness the almost unreal spectacle of Nature. Ever since I set foot in town, I felt like I wanted to spend a week there.
We traveled by train from Osaka to Kyoto, and this gentleman made me joyful since the first hour: it seemed to be content with the work it did dancing:
On the list, I had 3 important goals that I didn’t want to miss for anything in the world, which is why I was triumphant at the Fushimi Inari Station early in the morning, where, although it was very early, it was full of tourists. Fushimi – Inari Taisha Shrine – Tori – is the most famous Shinto shrine, thousands of gates that make up the orange-lit tunnel. It’s sensational.
Inari is the goddess of rice, sake and fertility, and she is represented by a fox with thousands of shrines dedicated to her, but Fushimi Inari is the most famous and visited, especially because of these vermilion gates, which are located on a sacred mountain and offer a view that leaves you breathless.
We walked, took pictures, looked for moments to be alone, the impressive gates, and, whatever, the omnipotent gods, if I think of the visitors who brought offerings … and some kind of love Akathists.
To go through the whole 10,000 gates route, you need 2 hours to climb … time to think that a gate of this model can cost up to 100,000 euros. But we didn’t have so many hours, especially because we were waiting for two more splendid places, so we climbed about 200 meters, then we returned, begging the gods to stop the time in place for a few days. Inexorable gods …
In their goodness, the deities have given us a blessing:
It started to rain and we were already heading to the second destination – the Ginkakuji Temple or the Silver Temple, a Zen temple dating back to the 15th century. The temple was built to serve Ashikaga Yoshimasa Shogun as a home and after His death was transformed into a temple.
Here other beauties were preparing: unreal gardens, bamboo forests, small islands and a sensational dry sand garden. The entrance to the temple courtyard is spectacular, a stone-paved alley on one side and another, made of stone, bamboo and camellia fences, groomed at millimeter.
Sandy gardens finished to the smallest detail seemed painted.
The sand wires were still and everything was arranged by temple monks in perfect harmony with the surrounding nature. The feeling I lived there was that if I say only a word, the spell disappears.
We mobilized again and arrived at Kinkakuji – the Golden Temple, another Zen temple, the home of Ashikaga Yoshimitu Shogun.
The Temple is a rapacious beauty with harmonious blends: the lake, the temple, the sky, the trees, the birds and the flowers, all of which translate you into an unreal story and you only wish time not to pass anymore.
Others important objectives in Kyoto are: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kiyomizu-Dera temple, Nijo Castle, I invite you to read about its here.
The sake bottle counter woke us to reality and broke off from the spell of the enchanted mountain. So, we’ve been back to people in Osaka for a last night in this fabulous city. From here we went to Tokyo, but that’s what I’m going to tell you about in the next few days.
Until then, I invite you to a sake!
For more details about how to spend three days in Kyoto, plese click here.
All the best!