By day 4 we didn't even need to look for the "English Assistance" button on the ticket machines.
We were catching the train to Inari. Blythe dolls were advertising a University. Kinki University. Seriously, check the bigger version!
Off the train at Inari station Craig and I followed a group of Japanese people wearing backpacks, and a few other tourist-y looking people. A few metres down the road we stopped as we hadn't seen any signs directing us to Fushimi Inari.
I think we had all been following students.
A Spanish lady, a Swedish couple, and a Japanese couple were also lost. A lovely little old Japanese lady who was passing directed us back up the road where there was a GIGANTIC Torii if only we had turned left out of the station instead of right.
It was raining. Which meant that it was actually quite quiet. And lovely.
Okay. That's enough of the prayers.
Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社?) is the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines.
Merchants and manufacturers worship Inari for wealth. Donated torii lined footpaths are part of the scenic view.
Inari is the Japanese kami (spirits, natural forces, or essence in the Shinto faith) of fertility, rice, agriculture, foxes, industry and worldly success and one of the principal kami of Shinto.
Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 A.D.
Oh lord, Mo-Vember.
And after a while the rain became a little too heavy and we headed back down the mountain.
It was magical and one of my favourite moments on our trip.
We went back to Kyoto Station and visited Happy Terrace.
Where we had to leave behind our glowing cube. Not cool, Kyoto Station, not cool.
And we wandered across the Skywalk. It was 11 storeys up and Craig took photos of the structural bits and pieces. Getting his structural-draughtsman-geek on.
We had lunch at Katsukura. I rolled my eyes at the other tourists taking photos of their food and now? I find myself wishing I had done the same. Naturally.
And then, the moment that Craig had been waiting for, the Shinkansen!
Things we noticed: there was very little blurring outside the window. We were travelling at 280km/h and yet? couldn't tell at all. Also, there was no countryside to speak of, just varying levels of city/suburb.
The sun set while we were on the train and we arrived into Hiroshima in darkness.