Kyoto Day 2, part 1: Fushimi Inari temple and grounds

Denis and Laura had a very ambitious day of temple visits planned, but the rest of us were feeling we needed a little more sleep. Matt and I were having coffee across the street from our hotel when Max & Guido came down.

While there, I talked with an interesting older Belgian man who has been living in Japan something like 35 years. He had approached me to ask about my awesome folding keyboard (Microsoft), and we’d continued our conversation. It turned out that we had a lot in common.

First Matt, then Max & Guido joined me, and the four of us went by taxi to Fushimi Inari, the most famous temple in Kyoto, hours behind Laura and Denis, who had already gone on to several other temples. It is famous for the extremely long tunnels of red gates. They are stunning, and we all took a ton of pictures. The pictures do NOT do them justice.

There were also lots of good luck or wish totems. Here are a few types:

This one is a magnet to put on your car, for safety while driving. I will try to attach it to my motorcycle, because it’s cute, so why not? 

We also loved the clothed statuary, mostly foxes:

Gratuitous backwards shot of gates:

Outside the temple, of course there were food vendors and some cafes, so we enjoyed both. Special note: this is one of the very few times EVER that I have enjoyed matcha as a flavor. It was kind of gummy starchy patties, grilled then doused in a sweet teriyaki sauce. 

Max enjoyed some takoyaki (octopus poffertjes), which I have loved for years, since they are also very popular in Chiang Mai street markets.

After some food and drinks, we split ways. Max & Guido wanted to explore that neighborhood and others a bit more, and Matt and I were headed towards some things we’d seen on our way to the hotel from the train station the day before.