We spent four days in Kyoto and we wished we had more time because it is such a lovely place to be in. This sacred city has more than thousands temples scattered around but the one you should definitely not miss is Fushimi Inari-Taisha. It takes around three hours to walk through the shrine and it especially nice if you get there very early in the morning to fully enjoy the quietness of the place.
Thanks (or not) to my crazy jet-lag, I woke up at six in the morning and thought it was a greta idea to wake up my partner too, so we could reach the shrine before everyone else would arrive, anyway if I cannot sleep he can’t either haha. This was particularly true because we stayed in a small room in an AirBnB and I didn’t feel comfortable waking up the owners either. Bastien was not too bothered, the sun was shining and it was a pleasant twentytwo degrees and so at seven thirty we were already about to climb up the stairs of this holy place. It was the perfect time to start, since when we got down at around ten, the place was overcrowded with people.
This sightseeing is fantastic, you walk in the nature, in the middle of the forest where hiding monkeys are never too far (I was scared) and through hundreds of torii (the red gates in the picture). You will find a lot of traditional tea cafes along the path, with spectacular views of the town and surrounded from kitsune statues, light-up candles and flowers. I would suggest stopping at one of the tea cafes as you can meet locals who seem truly interested in meeting you too.
Also make sure you do some stretching throughout the day as you walk so many steps that your calves will surely tighten up. I personally was struggling walking down and up the stairs the day after, I was a really funny sight for sure but it was so worth it!
The Golden Temple
You can reach the Golden Temple by bus from the main bus station in Kyoto or you can walk there, which will take one hour and an half and I definitely recommend, as you will walk through very nice streets of Kyoto and admire the little shops and local homes along the way. We got the bus on the way there and it was very chaotic and a long journey anyway (1.30 hours) just because of the thousands stops to get there so get an umbrella if you are there in the summer and enjoy a lovely walk to this fantastic temple.