In Kyoto everything is very well taken care of. After fulfilling my ritual of acquiring a map of the city, which was free and there were indications of temples and bus and subway lines, I set out to walk. It was difficult to choose which temples to visit and pay for admission, and it was a rush around the city. I have put together a list below of the temples I was able to visit that day:
• Kinkaku-Ji (the “Golden Temple”): Buddhist temple originally built in 1397 by Shogun Yoshimitsu, is all gold foliage, considered one of the most beautiful in Japan. In Itapecerica da Serra (São Paulo) has a replica that had already visited, which is why I was not very impressed.
• Heian-jingu: shinto temple is also very beautiful, built in 1895 AD in commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of the founding of Kyoto.
• Kiyomizu-dera: A Buddhist temple dating from 798 AD, with its typical streets and stalls selling souvenirs and other little things, very beautiful. Crowded with local tourists and some foreigners.
• Gion: is the Geisha district, full of temples, shops and typical restaurants.
• Fushimi-Inari: It’s a complex with five Shinto temples being also a maze! It has 30,000 toriis, which are those portals, of all sizes. The movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” was shot in part here.
In the late afternoon I went to Inari, as recommended by Teru. It was really something quite different. I walked mount Inari up among the “toriis”, I was lost up there, without signs and almost without anyone walking, I went into despair, because it was getting dark. I found my way back after finding a gentleman running and pausing to pray, although he didn’t speak English, he indicated the way. I ended up barely taking pictures. Inari is a deity of fertility, business, agriculture, rice and sake (a Japanese strong alcohol drink made from fermented rice).