14.3.15

X. Kyoto


Come with me on a mystical spiritual journey to Kyoto, the land of shrines and the colour orange. 





After spending a couple of hours on the train we had arrived at Kyoto and it was pretty amazing. Our first stop was the Fushimi Inari Shrine which I was ecstatic about finally visiting after always seeing people's travel photos.







I feel so blessed to have been able to visit so many beautiful, spiritual places. This was my absolute favourite.















It's a shame it was such a windy and gloomy day. So happy we had decided to buy windbreakers. Best decision of the whole trip.


The local totem (not sure if that's the right word) of Kyoto is a fox. There were lots of fox statues and dotted around the shrines.



Horse in a shrine. Not sure what this was exactly.



AND IT BEGINS! This was actually such a lovely walk. It was so chill when you got to areas that weren't packed with tourists.





 Background to the shrine: 
A torii is a traditional Japanese gate that marks the entrance to a sacred space. They are usually found at the entrances of Shinto shrines where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred. Inari shrines have many torii because people who have been successful in business often donate in gratitude. Fushimi Inari-taisha has thousands of these torii's that each bear the donors name on one side of them. New torii are constantly being added and you can tell the difference between the old and the new. 




This photo makes me want to cuddle Saya so much. She is such an adorable ball of cheeks.


Seriously.






This photo creeps me out. It looks like my soul is being sucked from my face like in Harry Potter. And now I really want to watch Harry Potter.



In between the paths were these little sites where families had bought a little area and made a shrine. Some were really extravagant and others were simple and humble in appearance.



There is also a large lake surrounded with bamboo which was quite beautiful. I love the colours of the trees, it reminds me of a painting. 






This shrine consists of a lot of walking. Most shrines do. I would highly recommend visiting it, although be prepared for some decent exercise. 

















Forever keeping our squad game strong.


She is perfection. I absolutely adore her. Could not ask for a better travel companion.






After leaving the shrine we just walked around these really pretty gardens. I couldn't for the life of me tell you where it is or what it is called because to be frank, I honestly just do not remember. I guess thats what happens when you just adventure around. It was near the shrine though, we hadn't wandered too far.









Somehow we ended up wandering through some buddhist temples that tourists weren't visiting. In the building below there were actually people inside chanting.







We ended up stumbling upon this huge cemetery on the hill. It was quite overwhelming. We didn't enter not only because we weren't allowed to, but just because we knew it would be incredibly disrespectful. I'm not even sure if taking this photo was allowed but I just needed to convey how overpowering and neverending this cemetery was.







The prettiest traffic cone Saya and I had ever seen. Maybe not as practical, but so noir.





This was a really beautiful buddhist temple. One of the things on my Japan bucket list was to meditate in a buddhist temple. I ticked that off this day. We went in and meditated for a while and it was such a rewarding experience. If I was to consider myself a part of any religion I would call myself a Buddhist. I am not a religious person although on a spiritual level I relate most closely with buddhist teachings. I have considered this my sort of religion since a very young age. And although I am not a practising Buddhist I like to think that it plays a part in who I am and how I treat people on a daily basis.





After visiting Fushimi Inari and the surrounding shrines we made our way to Nijo Castle...


Only to find out that it was being renovated. Which was such a shame. It was getting pretty late and really cold at this point so we kind of just adventured for a bit. Not having internet really limits where you can go in a foreign country when you are too lazy to make back up plans.


Squad goals.





Shoutout to Kyoto for being so chill. Can't wait to come back and visit one day. 




erica