Welcome to the world famous Fushimi Inari shrine!
The photograph above is taken right outside the JR Inari station – the shrine is literally opposite the station! Perfect!
Fushimi Inari shrine is famous for its thousands of read torii gates (like the above) lining Mount Inari! There are estimates of over 10,000 gates in total, it’s insane.
After a few long, dark years, Lady Gaga has finally released her fifth studio album: Joanne.
Joanne is named for Gaga’s aunt, her father’s younger sister, who passed before Gaga’s birth. Gaga believes she shares a deep connection with Joanne, and now not only does Gaga’s album share the name; a particularly special track from the album does too.
Today we are off to Kinkaku-ji, the golden pavilion!
Kinkaku-ji, an extravagant Zen Buddhist temple, is one of Japan’s premier tourists spots.
Now, getting to Kinkaku-ji is surprisingly hard. There are no train lines to it, or nearby really, and taxis can be expensive, so we ended up on a bus, which was extremely crowded, and Japanese bus etiquette is not what I’m used to.
Unlike London buses, on which you board at the front and exit from the middle, you board from the middle and exit from the front. When a bus is crowded, this is not easy at all! This bus was the single most cramped experience of my life, and I have used the Tube at rush hour with suitcases and bags a lot
You also pay as you get off, we bought a day rider pass, and I paid for it incorrectly by putting my money where everyone else put their’s, but you don’t for a day pass? I felt pretty embarrassed, but hey ho we had made it.
Make sure to research your way to and from Kinkaku-ji, this is a time that having mobile data really paid off.
Welcome to Arashiyama!
Arashiyama is a popular tourist area on the outskirts of Kyoto, easily accessible via train services!
And when I say popular with tourists, I completely mean it! There were absolutely TONS of tourists about, including ourselves.
Welcome to the first of my Kyoto posts! We visited Kyoto twice whilst staying in Osaka!
It’s only a 30 minute train from Osaka to Kyoto, covered by your JR Pass! You can hop the bullet train just down the road! Amazing!
We only spent an afternoon in Kyoto, and as the weather was a bit rubbish, we just pottered about and headed to yet another Pokemon Center! Our second day was amazingly packed, so the next couple of Japan posts will be focused on all of that!
And one thing to note: Japan’s public transport system is incredible and so user friendly…except for Kyoto. It was incredibly difficult, but we’ll come to that in due course.
Kyoto is so typically Japanese, which makes sense as it is the former capital of Japan before Tokyo.
It’s also an anagram of Tokyo! I have no clue if that’s intentional or not, but Futurama taught me that years ago and I have never forgotten it.