Kyoto, Japan : Chaos in Orange at Fushimi Inari Shrine

It’s happy when everything works out as planned. But that doesn’t make it not possible otherwise. -10.05.15

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Kyoto was a fail for I never anticipated the bus rides which apparently are the only best for me to get around the places I have marked to see. It was a day of wrong decisions – from the wrong choice of transport card to chaos at the FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE with peak I failed to reach because I spent extra energy someplace I wrongly thought was a shortcut. Yet despite failure to pass through all thousands of toriis or gates, the idea of each being built as sign of gratefulness for wishes granted was enough to compensate for all the burned calories worth it – not just from all the walking but also from the mental ‘strategy’ needed to get a capture of bunch of toriis with no single soul in sight (which I luckily was able to do once).

It was a day dedicated to Kyoto – a highlight of the trip I was excited about because it was my first hop within Japan via train. Not as iconic as a bullet train ride, of course but to me it was still something.

Days before the trip, I did a lot of reading online on places to see in Kyoto. Most are cultural sites which in general did excite me though but there were some with quirks that I marked and strategically planned to see. I knew as early as then that I could not explore it fully so I decided to choose two out of four ‘grids’ of the town.

I did most of planning by location but not by train accessibility. (I guess I was assuming that most of tourist destinations within reach via train, riding which I am pretty confident about). Precisely my same thought when I bought an unlimited pass, only to realize later on that getting to my selected places was via buses.

Buses. Buses scare me. Buses in Manila scare me because I never knew where to go down at. Buses outside Manila scare me because stops are not as tourist-friendly as the subway.

But okay, I had to take the bus. There was a wait in line and while there was looking at this map trying to make sense of bus stops and codes. Boy, it was not easy. Okay, I was like “bahala na” (whatever happens will happen).

I made it to my destination, of course – after moments of staying alert while at the bus because I could not estimate from the bus stops whether I was getting near my destination.

 

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Before train in Kyoto is this munching on my favorite snack in Japan 😛 
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One-way ticket to Kyoto
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Train to Kyoto

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Subway decision-making fail
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On the way to where bus was

 

 

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It was quite a wait there

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That other girl’s expression precisely capturing my fear

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But I managed to still take a selfie

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At FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE, it was another battle. It was one of the most (if not the most) visited shrine in Kyoto but I did not expect that volume of people. I was initially feeling disoriented. Eventually it kicked in though what is lovely with the place – just too many of everything – too many people, all wanting to go past those many toriis – which I thought was just visually appealing but which I eventually realize though to be representation of people saying their thank yous for wishes granted.

It was after such thought that my walk became interesting as I looked at markings on the toriis. That, plus that challenge to take a photo of the walk with not one person. I was able to take one or two, I think. Timing, baby.

 

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Oh so there is a nearby monorail station. Could I have taken this instead of the bus? 

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20151004_091756 Looking back – why did I even take this photo? There’s no hint at Kyoto or what

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At the entrance

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Further in

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There were several temples on the way up. I was not naturally curious with such but I was amused with the interesting traditions I saw. It was lovely how there are just different ways of saying prayers and wishes – from writing on sticks to little flags and other wooden stuff one hangs.

I just kept on walking – with no idea where or how long that walk past the toriis would be. I eventually learned that there is a destination at the top people are aiming for. I  thought I’d aim that as a challenge to self but my knowing of my physical capability and time constraints for that day made me decide to quit. (Maybe next time when there is enough time to pace 😛 )

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Welcomed by tradition

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Barrels

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First temple

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Zoomed out

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I am pretty sure I did not follow instructions with this one but okay, each entitled to their own prayer, I suppose

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This little one and little gates

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And the walk from here on begins :

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Finally this spot with less people — 

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Excuse the hair 😛

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Uh oh, I hope this does not fall down

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Can you see the cobweb?

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Some portions on construction at that time

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A bug’s life

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These protectors

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Tired from all the walking, there was nothing left for me to do but just sit on the road while in line waiting for the bus – though ‘normally’ that would have seemed awkward with all those maps I barely understand and can of beer on hand.

And in places I have gone to, Kyoto makes it to that list – which all the more gives me reason to go back – when my skills are ready for bus rides, and when I care more than enough for castles and stuff. I am up to see what is beyond what Internet says and when I have the resources and time to see again, there’s no reason to say no.

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