Aug 11 Kyoto Nara

Kyoto Tower

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 Our first stop was the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It’s famous for having thousands of torii lining one after the other.

Good thing it was arranged as the first destination of the day because it takes lots of energy to go up the hill.

We took the JR train to Inari station and started our hill climbing.

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 There were so many torii that it feels very shaded (or is it because of the trees).

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View from rest area

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I walked really really slow because I was lazy. The girls stopped along the way for me. How nice, but I told them to go first because I walk as slow as a tortoise and was OK with not reaching the mountain top.

So I walked slowly, taking pictures along the way and eavesdropping on other people. I walked, rested then walked. I came to a fork road and took the road on the right, my instinct telling me so.

I took out my breakfast halfway up. Then I realised. Uh oh. Inari in Japanese means “fox”. This is a shrine for the fox god. Does that mean I am eating the fox. What would happen to me?!!!

So I apologized to the fox god for eating inari sushi, saying that I’m so hungry I have to eat something. And, it helped. I was resting and eating sushi and decided to go up a bit.

There was a closed store and I sat at its benches and finished my breakfast. I wondered if the girls had reached the mountain top. I sat for a long time, debating whether to climb up or just wait for them to come down. And then I heard their voices, coming from below.

It turned out that they took the left fork when I took the right and they had to climb back up when they realised it wasn’t the right way.

Then all of us went up the hill. We reached the top but didn’t realised it until they went to ask an uncle there. Ha!

Yeah! Station 1.

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The main shrine down at ground level.

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Guy miko in purple pants. Usually guys wear blue and girls wear red. Maybe he’s a senior

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The foxes

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And off we went to Nara! We switched to the faster train to get there.

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On the way, we passed Uji station. I had wanted to go to Uji really badly because it’s the setting for the last 10 chapters of The Tale of Genji. But it wasn’t on our itinerary.

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I had to be satisfied with a photo of me and the station.

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Soon we reached Nara. The lady at the info counter gave us details of how to get to the temple and even recommended where to go for hot springs. Thanks

She recommended a sushi place for lunch. But! I’ve read that Kyoto is far from the sea so it isn’t the best place for sushi.

So we went to a shop selling rice and noodles. It tasted good, especially after the long climb

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My soba. nice summer food. The noodles are cold and you dip them into the soy sauce that comes along and slurp

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Then we were off to Todaiji Temple. Turns out Nara Park is right next to it. The park is famous for its deers. They are everywhere!

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baby drinking milk

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He’s showing V with his antlers

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Todaiji’s entrance

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After the temple, MC and I separated with the others. We were going to the onsen place to soak off our tiredness. This will be (only) the second time I’ve been in onsen since in Japan. Last time at the onsen resort, my bloody (literally!!!) period came. Why oh why.

ON our way out, we saw a deer drinking out of a drain.

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And Attack of the deers

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Off MC and I went to Yurara no yu. It’s a sort of posh onsen bathing house and has very nice pools.

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They had a pool of blueberry onsen. Don’t know what they add in but the water was purplish and had faint fragrance of blueberries.

Then back we went to the city area to meet up with the others.

The lights festival is where they line up lines of candles. That’s all I can say

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Then back to the same place for dinner. Ordered two bowl coz extra hungry.

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Our train back was a slow train but we had seats so it was ok.

Kyoto Tower at night.

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Souvenirs from before

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And we had to pack for tomorrow’s Tokyo trip. See you in the next entry!

More about Liau Yun Qing

Yun Qing is a writer, improviser and curious person. She loves finding little adventures in life. In 2013, she went on a 130-day round-the-world trip. She wrote a book to help those who also want to go on a career break.

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