Day 13: Bamboo Groves and Foxes
Like I said in my last post, Kyoto is not easy to visit if you only have 2 days. It was painful deciding what was most worth seeing, and trying to pack as much in as possible was tiring and frustrating. Plan ahead! Today the lucky attractions chosen were the bamboo groves, which are to the west in the outskirts of Kyoto. There was no bullet train for this one:
I think the bamboo groves are worth seeing if you can bear the cattle-like wander around with other tourists (or just go super early) and would be well worth seeing by bicycle. But if bamboo doesn’t make you go pandash*t, I’d give them a miss – you can see plenty of the trees elsewhere in Kyoto. Having said that, there is something quite magical about walking through so many:
Then back to central Kyoto to sample Nishiki market. This was way more up my (shopping) street. I just love Japanese food markets. This one is particularly well known for it’s culinary delights. Octopus balls and tofu donuts are to everyones taste right? This blog has some great photos.
Before long I was back on the train to see Fushimi Inari shrine, site to the ‘thousand’ torii gates, and possibly more fox statues. Inari is a shinto god, represented by the fox. The full hike up to the peak of Mount Inari is 2-3 hours, but we stopped around 30 mins in, at the Yotsutsuji intersection, a decent photo opportunity to say the least. This is definitely in my top recommendations if you visit Kyoto. If you want the classic photo of the endless gates with no one blocking your shot, go early. But I didn’t find crowding a bother, and I think the full hike would be amazing if you have the time/enthusiasm. It is also really quick to get to from central Kyoto so you could do the whole thing and still be back for lunch (yes, at Nishiki market). There is plenty of bamboo too, so you can pretend you went to the groves 😉