It’s time for first Wanderlust Wednesday! This is new blogging series that will have new post every Wednesday in my blog. (This is mostly for me to keep writing something every week… But don’t worry! I will still publish a lot of travel articles in other days too.)
The idea of this series is to recommend places for everyone to visit at least once in their life time. Kind of like bucketlist but destinations I have experienced and loved. The topics will be everything from countries to small attractions and even cozy accommodations. So follow my blog if you want more inspiration to travel!
Today I’m going to introduce one of my favorite places in whole world. If I could only do one trip before dying I would probably decide to go here. This place is beautiful, calming and full of secret trails. It’s full of tourists but also locals. So what place am I talking about?
Fushimi Inari Taisha
Other names: Fushimi Inari shrine, Mt. Inari, Mount Inari
Where? Kyoto, Japan
How to get there? I always walked because my hostel was only two kilometers from the entrance (and I had a lot of time). You can also use train. It takes about 5min and costs 140 yen.
When to go? Fushimi Inari is always open. I loved the autumn leaves but don’t know about other seasons. I recommend going on early evening and walking to the top when it is still bright. Then stop at the observation/restaurant spot and admire the sun setting over Kyoto. (PS. At dark the place is scary but magical.)
How much does it cost? Totally free! Just remember take water and snacks with you because the ones they sell are pricey. And you may end up buying souvenirs from here or crave for ice cream on your way to the top. So you should budget some money to do that.
Why to go?
If I should persuade someone to visit Mt. Inari I would just show them some photos of the Torii gates covering all the paths up. Why I fell in love with this place, is a much difficult matter. So let me tell you one of the many tales from my visits to Mount Inari.
My Story (To Get You Visit This Beautiful Place)
It was my second time on the top of Mt. Inari and it was starting to get dark. I knew the sun would be down before I would get back down. Fortunately the main trails have street lights so it was only a little scary to walk.
I was only one in sight but was able to hear other hikers somewhere far away. Everything glowed in green and red lights and big shadows came out of the shrines I walked past. There were no humans but several cats kept following me. If I tried to approach them they would run away and disappear to the darkness but soon after another cat would follow me again.
I was almost back to the main shrine and bottom of the mountain. There was more and more people around me, mainly locals at this hour. The cats were long gone because of all the talking, laughing and screaming. It didn’t seem so scary anymore. Then I decided to do something crazy that would either end up being catastrophe or once in life time experience.
There was small trail with weaker lights going steeply uphill and away from the way I was going. It took only seconds from me to decide and start walking there away from all the people. After me followed one family and two Japanese boys. We kept walking towards darkening forest and soon the family turned back because it seemed like this path would not go anywhere.
Then with flames that looked real fire lighted shrine came to our view. The boys behind me were laughing and having fun and probably wondering what I did here. I totally fell in love with the small shrine. Only for that my walk would have been worth it. The boys decided to walk ahead when I still admired the cozy shrine.
I had to do another bad decision. To walk more or to return back. The path going on didn’t have lights anymore. The forest was getting more and more dense and the only light I saw ahead was the phones of the two boys walking. Of course I decided to walk to the darkness.
I saw the boys turning and starting to walk towards me. I though maybe they decided it was too scary to go on. For me this trip was all about winning my fears so I took my phone and lighted it up. At that point the boys realized I -the foreigner lost looking girl- had decided to walk more. They quickly turned and continued to walk towards.
Maybe it would have been embarrassing for them to turn back if I was going on? Well, whatever the reason was they kept walking and I kept walking. Sometimes their light would get lost behind the trees and at those moments the darkness surrounded me. Scary.
After a long walk I saw light getting closer and closer after every step. Soon the two boys walked towards me, said soft hellos when going past me and continued laughing and talking. I decided to continue towards the light even if it meant I would now be totally alone in the forest.
The light ended up being yet another shrine and small waterfall. My night walk was becoming more and more worth the scared feelings. I think this was one of the most beautiful and peaceful sights I have seen. There is no words to describe the beauty I saw and unfortunately no photos because of the darkness. But maybe that is just a good thing so I was able to fully enjoy the moment.
So then I walked back the dark forest path and didn’t feel that scared anymore. I got safely back to the hostel and have now memory to last forever. I hope I can return here one day in the future… I returned to that exact spot later on but when it was sunny and warm. In day light it wasn’t as magical but still beautiful.
This was my small story from Fushimi Inari. I would have hundreds of them to tell but we don’t have time for that. So instead I will just say that you should go and experience it by yourself.
Did I wake your wanderlust? Have you ever visited Fushimi Inari or is it already on your bucket list? I hope you enjoyed today’s subject.