Re-plan. I have to redo my itinerary after spending a whole day cycling in Kyoto and missed Fushimi Inari and Gion. I was supposed to leave early, get Hankyu Tourist Pass and travel to Osaka-Kobe and back to Osaka, but, I rather skip Kobe than those two places. I woke up early and had a quick visit to Nijo Castle before going to Fushimi Inari.
From Nijo I took JR Sagano to Kyoto Station (track no.10), transit to JR Nara to Inari Station
Before I left the hostel, I realized I misplaced my GoPro’s screw (to mount it with the stick-pod), I was a bit disappointed, it will be really hard to take a photo of myself (ahhh, I hate to use the word, selfie haha). Still able to take a selfie, but not as good as with the stick-pod.
Fushimi Inari, Kyoto
Fushimi Inari is few meters away from the JR Inari Station, you will be able to notice it once you stepped out. I was carrying my backpack, and my back was in pain, so I left my bag in the locker, you will notice a hotel on your right hand side, there’s a locker in their lobby.
I wandered around the street before get in to Fushimi Inari, there are souvenir shops and eatery stalls all along the street, they offered local themed dishes, Inari Sushi and Kitsune Udon (Fox Udon). Some of the souvenir is quite unique as they made it available only in Fushimi Inari, the food smells good too.
Fushimi Inari is one of the place where Memoirs of Geisha’s scene were recorded. I never get a chance to watch the movie, but I’ve read the book and I love it. I remembered, a photo of Chiyo (Sayuri when she was a kid before she became geisha) running pass through the thousands of vermilion Torii gates, and I told myself, I must achieve the same pose, I even carried a kimono with me, but, I never did it haha.
You can hike to the summit of the mountain, all along the Torii gates, it will take around two to three hours, and I did what everyone else’s did, hike half way then turn back. The Torii gates all along the trail are donated, it explained the writing found on each and every Torii.
I was hiking up to the mountain, passing by the Senbon Torii when I met this lady from a local news. I guess, they were covering a topic that related to Japan Tourism and keen to ask questions from tourist and, I was the chosen one. She was asking some questions and wrote it down, once done, she asked if I can repeat all the answer, but now, in front of the camera. My jaw dropped. I hate being interviewed, in front of the camera, I started blabbering even though I have all the answer. But, I did it anyway, for her *sigh*
A few hours later, I took another train Keihan Main Line, from Fushimi Inari Station to Gion-Shijo Station. This is a different train station from JR Inari Station. You have to walk a few minutes to get there.
Once I get to Gion, I still feel like, ok this is how Gion looks like, so I walked further to Hanami Koji Street and Shirakawa Area and I started to scream, this is exactly how I imagine Kyoto. I walked, with a crooked smile, that I cannot hide.
Let’s start hunting for geisha, I told myself. I didn’t put a high hope on this, as I believe, you will be considered lucky if you manage to catch a glimpse of a Geisha, and as I visited Gion at noon, the possibility almost none. But, the luck was on my side. Not sure if they are the real Geisha, or just a tourist who wanted to experience on becoming Geisha, but who cares!
I spent few hours wandering around, before buying a train ticket to Osaka. From Gion-Shijo Station, Keihan Main Line, I bought my ticket for ¥410 to Yodobashi, and change to Osaka Subway Midosuji Line from Yodobashi to Shinsaibashi. I reached Osaka at 4pm and walked around 5minutes to the B&S Eco Capsule Hostel. Another mission checked, staying in capsule hostel while in Japan.
Too bad the check-in is at 5pm and I can’t drop my bag yet as the place is locked, so I went to Amerikamura Street, a few minutes away from the capsule hostel. The place is quite strategic, as most of the attractive places are within walking distance, Amerikamura, Den Den Town, Dotonbori and yes the Shinsaibashi Shopping area itself.
I want to run in a meadow with my bare foot, and face facing the sun.