Saturday, 9 October 2010

Osaka-Nara-Kyoto-Kobe-Okayama-Hiroshima trip – 9 Oct 10

It started to rain last night and continued till this morning. We adhered to our itinerary even though it's raining. We would be concentrating on Southern part of Kyoto and 2 shrines at the northern part today. We took JR train from Kyoto station and alighted at JR Inari station.
JR Inari Station

Fushimi Inari 伏見稲荷大社 is famous for it's thousands torii which leads into the wooded forest of the sacred 233m Mount Inari. It's one of the rare attraction that is free of charge. Normally those in tour group would not visit this attraction hence there are fewer tourist here.
Giant torii gate at the entrance
Look at the way these devotees pray (they use one finger instead of the whole palm)
Writing your wishes on the mini torii gate

Foxes are thought to be Inari's messengers, resulting in many fox statues across the shrine grounds. 
Fox with a bib
Left or right?
Smaller torii gates

The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies. The cost range from ¥383,000 ~ S$6,000 for a small torii gate to ¥1,302,000 ~ S$20,000 for a large torii gate.

Cost of different size of torii gates
Look at how long is the trail of the torii gates
Still a long way to go

Left are the donator's name and the right are the date of the donation
Lake at Fushimi Inari

The hike to the summit and back takes about 3hr. As it was raining and Fredrick's mom and relatives are waiting for us at the entrance, CH and I didnt venture to the summit. I did hike up to the starting point of the summit loop. It took me an hour from the entrance to this point.
Yotsu-tsuji (four-way) intersection
Waiting for train at Inari station

We took train from Inari station and alighted at Tokufuji station and walked about 10min to Tofukuji. Tofukuji 東福寺 is a Zen temple which is famous for its spectacular autumn colors. The most popular view is from the Tsutenkyo bridge. Admission is free except Tsutenkyo Bridge and Kaisando Hall; and Hojo and gardens.
Tsutenkyo Bridge
Tofukuji temple compound

From Tofukuji station, we took Keihan railway to Demachiyanagi Station and then took bus no. 4 to Shimogamojinja mae bus stop which is 5 min away. 
Double decker train
Sculpture at the train station
This mirror serve a purpose
Direction sign to Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine 下鴨神社 is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan and is a  UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admision is free.
Torii gate at the entrance
 Rōmon at the background
Taikobashi bridge

Fredrick's mom and relatives decided to return to the hostel while we continue our journey to Kamigamo shrine. We decided to grab a snack at a convenience store near the bus stop as it's almost noon time.
Standing tables outside the convenience store
Fried crispy chicken cutlet

From Shimogamojija-mae bus stop, we took bus no. 4 to Kamigamo Jinja-mae. The bus journey tooks 30min to Kamigamo Jinja-mae terminal. It was raining very heavily when we reached. Hence we only spent about 15min here and left.

Kamigamo Shrine 上賀茂神社 is one of the oldest shrine in Kyoto and is also a UNESCO world hertiage site. Opening hrs: 6am – 4.30pm and admission is free. The Kamo Shrines jointly hold one of Kyoto's three biggest festivals, the Aoi Matsuri. Every May 15th at 10:30am, a large procession dressed in the style of the Heian court leaves from the Imperial Palace, continues to Shimogamo, and ends the day at Kamigamo.
Long pathway to Kamigamo Shrine
Some events to be held at the background

From Kamigamo Jinja-mae, we took bus no 4 back to Kyoto station. The journey is long and took almost an hour. We board from the terminal hence we could sit throughout the journey.
Finally I saw red maple leaves but it's a fake tree

After we reached Kyoto station, we went to the souvenirs shop below Kyoto tower to take a look. I bought a box of Yatsuhashi here. Then we went to Daiso to buy a washing machine net as I intend to do my laundry tonight.
Daiso shop
It's almost 3pm when we had our lunch. I mentioned that we went to the wrong Tonkatsu restaurant yesterday. Hence we decided to have lunch at Katsukura today. Katsukura is located at JR Kyoto Station, The Cube 11F (take evelator @ Isatan Dept store). Opening hours is: 11am – 9.30pm daily except Sat 11am – 10pm.
 Katsukura restaurant
Different type of sauce

I ordered the autumn seasonal set - Yuba rolled seasonal vegetable cutlet and fillet cutlet which cost ¥1,440 ~ S$22.50. The seasame are to be crush with a pestle and mix in the sauce (a vegetable, palm, fruit & red wine mixture) that is provided. Free refill of barley rice, cabbage, miso soup and pickles are available upon request. This meal is delicious and I highly recommend Katsukura for it's Tonkatsu.
Scumptous lunch
There are barley in the rice

We went back to the hostel after that. We had a rest before going out for dinner at 8pm.
 Japanese notes and coins

We went to a fast food restaurant selling local food near the hostel as we do not want to venture far for dinner.
We had our dinner here
Vending machine for purchase of food
Collection of food

I ordered medium size Tofu udon which cost ¥390 ~ S$6 and later I realised that there is a smaller portion which cost ¥250 ~ S$4. I am still feeling full from the heavy lunch earlier on and couldnt finished the food in the end.
Tofu udon

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