Mt. Inari | Photos | Videos
September 16, 2017
Kyoto & Osaka Japan
The morning came early, and we had decisions to make. Unfortunately, it was raining. This was because of the typhoon that was currently hitting the island, which was supposed to head north to Tokyo after hitting the middle part of the island where we were. This was our last day in Kyoto, and our Japan Rail pass was running out on Sunday, and we wouldn’t be getting back down this way, but had planned on going to Nagashima Spa Land today, one of the few parks that I felt was a must visit. But I didn’t want to go with a typhoon literally right over us and torrential downpours. I’d have liked to have spent some time on the Ryokan grounds as well, but the rain wasn’t conducive to that either.
So instead we had a traditional Japanese breakfast at the inn and decided to head to Mount Inari in Kyoto, where the Fushimi Inari shrine is. If you’ve ever seen any photos from Japan of people walking through what seems like endless paths of red tori gates, this is where probably it was taken. It was pouring rain by the time we arrived but we’d stored our luggage again in Kyoto Station. We got in line to walk thru the gates and once we got to the first level, we headed off on a smaller, less traveled path up the mountain.
The rain came and went as we made our way up. First, we found a small shrine with sitting areas where we sat along with a young Japanese woman and a German couple. Then when the rain let up we headed up and through a bamboo forest and found an old shrine with cat statues (and a very large spider that I was not fond of meeting). We got a little turned around having gone down behind the cat shrine and found a random high school and street, and after a few rest breaks, decided to head back up to the cat shrine and finish the original path down the mountain. The typhoon was messing with our plans so we had to wing it with our plans.
This was supposed to be our day at Nagashima, but we put it off till the next day which would unfortunately be our last chance. After a few hours exploring historical sites, we decided to head back to Osaka and check out a recommended sento since it was only a 30 minute ride and easy walking. We arrived in Osaka with strong winds, but the rain dying down. We were trying to find the sento, but our signal wasn’t very good for our GPS, so we got turned around a few times before finally heading in the right direction.
The sento was great. Going between Hot, cool, and cold Jacuzzis, steam rooms, sauna, etc. made my very tired body feel much better. I’m glad we amended our plans, and though we never got to experience a traditional onsen with a hot spring, we did visit a couple sentos. Osaka was amazing at nite. Bright lights. An electric atmosphere. It was the weekend, and people were out and about, and I really enjoyed walking around in the city, especially since the typhoon had calmed a bit. I will definitely spend more time there on my next trip. We did Hotwire a room for the nite, and it was small, but a little more western at the Apa Hotel, which apparently is a chain in Asia. They also had a hotel sento on one of the top floors. Isaac decided to check it out, but I was tired and decided to go to sleep instead.