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  • Writer's pictureKarli Messer

Temple Tourism in Kyoto

This morning, I said goodbye to my homestay family, Oomae san, Ruka chan, Kou chan (orange kitty), and Candy chan (scaredy cat not pictured) in Wakayama. This afternoon, I jumped on the train to Kyoto!


I quickly arrived in Kyoto and went with my new host, Inagaki san, to drop off my luggage. We went to the Fushimi Inari Shrine, famous for thousands of red gates called Senbon Torii. Unlike the photos I had seen online, the torii gates were orange, not red!


There were a lot of tourists. More than I've seen in all of Wakayama, in one place. The higher you climb, the fewer people around, so you can take plenty of solo photos if you wait about 15 minutes. Walking to the top and back of the shrine should take less than an hour but in the summer heat, it feels like forever. Don't forget a towel and water since you will sweat! I wasn't prepared for the trip and eventually gave in to the growing price of water the higher I climbed.


Inagaki san stopped to rest and I continued my trek to the top of the shrine. Along the way, there was a beautiful view of Kyoto and I was excited to see the top, anticipating a breathtaking view. Unfortunately, I reached the top and was a little disappointed to find no view at all. Just trees.


We met up with a friend of Inagaki san and her granddaughter who just returned from a year abroad in Toronto. It was nice to meet with someone my age! I had my first conveyor belt sushi of the trip! Before we parted ways at the end of the night, we made plans to go sightseeing the next day. Excited to see more of Kyoto in the morning!


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