After our daytime walk across Arashiyama, we headed back to Kyōto Station for some food, a bit of rest, and an opportunity to plan our next move.
It was already around 4 PM when we sat down to a long-overdue lunch – in this case, a feast of omurice in one of Kyōto Station’s many restaurants.
I had originally planned to take my family on a walk across the Higashiyama district in eastern Kyōto – home of Kiyomizu-dera, Gion, and a host of other well-known cultural attractions. Alas, my parents were feeling very tired, and the long queues snaking around the bus stops in front of the station were far from encouraging. In the end, we decided to call it a day and head back to Ōsaka…
…but not before visiting one last local landmark.
A short train ride to Inari Station on the JR Nara Line…
…brought us close to the entrance of Fushimi Inari Taisha, one of Kyōto’s best-known shrines. The seemingly endless lines of vermilion torii marching up to the top of the hill above the sacred precinct are an iconic image of Japan, a staple of everything from coffee-table books to period movies (with one particular scene in Memoirs of a Geisha coming strongly to mind).
I have more – and better – images of the shrine on my older blog (click here). Those were taken during an earlier visit (part of my very first journey across Japan, back in 2009), and on that occasion I travelled much further along the trail of torii than we managed to do today. Note that the post I’ve linked to is divided into 3 pages; you’ll need to click on the number of the next page (near the bottom of that blog entry) to see the following part.
Along one of the side streets near the shrine gate, some enterprising vendors had set up food stalls in order to cater to the huge autumn crowds that were besieging the site.
Soon, we were back on the JR lines en route to Ōsaka. My parents were probably quite eager to turn in for the night, but the 3 overgrown children in our family (myself included) were still game for one last round of sightseeing before diving underneath the covers, so we headed out to see the lights – neon lights, that is – blazing along the banks of the Dōtonbori canal in Ōsaka’s lively Nanba district. I don’t have a lot of good pictures from that brief excursion, but I’ve got some from a previous visit to the area in this post (scroll to the lower part of that page). No worries, we’ll have more to show and say about that lively area of the city in a future post.