Konnichiwa (こんばんは) 

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After our trip around the Imperial Palace, we grabbed lunch at a place called Mos Burger

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It looked like the Japanese version of McDonald’s or Burger King but to be honest it was the first place we saw after leaving the subway and we were quite hungry…wasn’t that bad actually BUT THEY PUT ONIONS ON MY BURGER, UNFORGIVABLE!!!!  We decided to go to a well known spot in the city called ‘Fushimi Inari’ famous for it’s mountain trail and it’s seemingly endless shrine gates!

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We headed to the train station and boarded the JR Nara line to Inari Station and it got a little bit confusing once we got to the station as it was the quietest little place we had ever been to, it looked quaint and peaceful, minus train passengers but even they weren’t noisy but the station did have music playing….nice music which fits in with where we were going really.

 

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I like how some Japanese streets look, just looking down this straight you see the past mixed in with the present and it just goes well together, a country that can embrace both past and present without one being left behind, I’ll be honest…it was nice to feel pride for your past with the shrines, castles and monuments and the always changing world of tomorrow all around you, a metropolis of culture, all from one street!

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We entered the shrine and all around was us activity, from little shops to areas of prayer, it was wonderful. It was here that we decided to make a purchase. Meet the fox that we bought and named Kagami.  17311117_10155292395556019_410750230105162926_o

850 yen well spent if you ask me! We got another one as a souvenir for a friend back home and then headed towards the mountain path as we would do some praying once we got back down from from the hillside, might as well get the hard bit out of the way first! The entrance way was crowded with people wanting to brave the climb but not many coming back down on the other side we noticed! We heard that a fair amount of people give up before reaching the top of the path but I knew I would make it….I climbed Vesuvius after all! Emma on the other hand…we would have to see!

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Nice picture to see before you climb the mountain path! Could give you nightmares that face!

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Here we go!

 

When you start off, it’s like your in an tunnel more than passing under many gates! They go on and on for as far as you can see and beyond that but it was so amazing that you want to keep going and see if they truly do go all the way up or not. The path was full of people with smiles as we all took photos and admired the scenery as we made our way along.

Emma was actually very excited about what we were doing which was rather odd considering she normally she hates walking up big hills but I think the atmosphere and the gates were helping the matter…nothing to do with Kagami the fox we had just bought or anything! However, the smiles and excitement would soon fade as we soon discovered….the path gets much steeper and more stairs began to appear…frequently.

We came to a point where the paths split and we saw the one we would return on as well as the one we needed to take to get to the top, it didn’t look that bad to me but my wife was thinking a little differently to me.

Exhaustion sort of began to set in, more for Emma than me as I was used to walking up big paths and such….do it all the time back home so this wasn’t that challenging to be honest, growing up in the Yorkshire Dales can do that to you though, your surrounded by hillsides! Emma was slowing down but wasn’t going to give up…the only thing that was aching on me were my ears….from Emma’s constant moaning! I kid!

 

At various points on the climb, we would reach a summit and assume that we had made it to the top, only to find out that we still had a long way to go! Emma would get slightly disheartened when I kept telling her that we still had a ways to go but we did start to notice that the higher we went, the less people were about

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Also, we were eventually able to get a great view of Kyoto from the hillside and it was a really nice look out to the area that stretched into the distance. I always think that once you make it high up on a hill or mountain, to get a good look at the area around you, the countryside and as far as you can see, take it in!

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Finally however, we came across one last pair of stairs and as we reached the top, well it said top of the mountain so what more proof do you need! We realised that we were finally at the top of the path, we had made it! Emma was so relieved and happy that she had made it…I was excited as well…it was another thing I could cross off my checklist

Now, we had to walk all the way back down and for me, Emma kept nagging me about a promise I had made her…on the way up we had past an ice cream place and I might have…bribed her to keep going by promising her some ice cream when we past it again on the way down

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I am loving Japan so far, the sights and culture of Tokyo were amazing and Kyoto has been so far as well! I shall always remember the times that we both had here for the rest of my life and I really hope I can do this again someday. I love how a magical place can be nestled away like this, it makes it special. Small Japanese towns look so peaceful, yet are full of life it just makes it ever so more astonishing to explore everything that I can for as long as possible.

We boarded the train back to our hotel after a long day and decided to head out and try a curry house for once and oh my goodness, it was the most amazing curry ever! I tried a cheeseburger curry…what even is that but it’s food of the gods! The cheese was stuffed inside the burger and I honestly thought it was better than Udon Noodles, Tempura or even Ramen…the richness of the sauce and the tenderness of the burger weirdly worked together and the rice was nice as well! Seriously and I hate curry but this was immense…made me want to try curry back home again, it was that good…Emma had a seafood curry and loved it as well, she needed it after all that walking she had done.

We plan to see the Golden Pavilion tomorrow, more soon!

 

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