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A cultural workout activity in Kyoto

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A cultural workout activity in Kyoto

Perhaps some of you are confused by the title of this post. Nevertheless, I will share my story of one activity in Kyoto, that allowed me to enjoy culturally and from a healthy perspective!

Carolina Suarez

Carolina Suarez

Published on 17 Apr, 12:00

When I first lived in Japan, back in 2016. At that time, I could not visit all the places that Kyoto offers. As you know, the city has diverse temples, parks, and rivers to go to. I went only for a day and packed a few spots to my itinerary. I regretted leaving behind one wonderful temple as Fushimi Inari-Taisha, a landmark of Shintoism in the country.

However, a couple of years after I went to pursue to Kyoto to pursue postgraduate studies. I remember how a few days after my arrival, I organized everything to visit Fushimi Inari-Taisha.

Map of Inari Mountain, Kyoto, 2020
Map of Inari Mountain, Kyoto, 2020
Fushimi Inari-Taisha is a temple located in the ward of Fushimi, Kyoto. It is just two stations away from Kyoto Station, taking 5 minutes to arrive. The temple is at the base of a mountain (called Inari), which is walkable and includes several small shrines and torii gates (Senbon Torii route).

I arrived at the temple with some basic information, but still ignored many details that make this place impressive. I was surprised to see the high level of people visiting from early morning. The entrance and the main temple were beautiful.

While I was appreciating the architecture, it caught my attention, all the girls with kimonos and couples around. Even babies, children, and older ladies dressed up for their visit. I felt like traveling back in time by watching the people around me and the details of the place.

Main temple and people at Fushimi Inari-Taisha, 2020
Main temple and people at Fushimi Inari-Taisha, 2020

A few meters from the temple, I saw the steps to go up in the mountain. I remember thinking that it was going to be something short, and I will finish early.

Stairs to the Senbon Torii (thousand torii) at Fushimi Inari-Taisha, 2020
Stairs to the Senbon Torii (thousand torii) at Fushimi Inari-Taisha, 2020

Oh, I did not know anything about the place, right!?

I followed the crowd and started going up, up, and up. I did not expect that the visit to the temple offered the possibility of walking in the mountain. Groups of people, individuals, couples, all of us continued to climb and watched the view of Kyoto.

Torii gates at Inari Mountain, 2020
Torii gates at Inari Mountain, 2020

It was a hot summer day, but walking around the Inari Mountain (the mountain by the temple) was a great experience. I was not informed at all and thought my visit to the temple will be shorter. While going up, there were some stores where to buy drinks, and I encountered some cats too.

Cat at Inari Mountain, 2020
Cat at Inari Mountain, 2020

After an hour-long walk, I went to eat lunch in a nearby restaurant, The visit was incredible, and I was satisfied with everything that I enjoyed, including the walk up and down!

Almost six months after, I met my boyfriend and decided to celebrate a special occasion by going to Fushimi Inari-Taisha. I was so happy to visit again the temple and the mountain, in less than a year!

Picture at Fushimi Inari, 2020
Picture at Fushimi Inari, 2020

This time, I was able to appreciate more of the details at the temple and mountain. I became aware of the statues, the decorations of the Torii gateways, and small temples during the walk.

Kitsune (fox) statues, at Inari Mountain, 2020
Kitsune (fox) statues, at Inari Mountain, 2020

However, this time when we went down, we took a different route. I did not know that the Inari Mountain also had an area to go deeper in nature and “hike”. We walked for some minutes in the middle of nature, as if we were in a different place.

Part of the Kyoto Circuit Trail at Inari Mountain, 2020
Part of the Kyoto Circuit Trail at Inari Mountain, 2020

It turns out that this mountain is part of the Kyoto Circuit Trail. This trail surrounds Kyoto and includes different mountains, a total of 70km to walk!

After my two visits to Fushimi Inari-Taisha, I discovered all the possibilities it offered, not only from a cultural but even workout experience!

If you are interested in hiking, you can find the area for the trail and go! If you like Japanese culture and nature, go!

This is a place for all tastes, and that will remain in your memory!

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Carolina Suarez

Carolina Suarez

こんにちは!Hello Everyone! 🌼🌼 I am Carolina, a Japanese culture lover and digital content creator! I am happy to share with you my memories of living in Japan and studying there!!! Also, I am married to a Japanese now 💕 You can check my posts and my YouTube channel: misakissme ☺️

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