Over the Obon holiday week, my brother and I spent a few days in Kyoto.
I didn’t realise that it was Obon holiday week, which meant that there were more people about and some of the shops/services were closed.
Nevertheless we had a good time!
We left on Wednesday and took the Shinkansen from Shinagawa station to Kyoto Station. It took just over 2hrs to get there on the Nozomi Shinkansen train.
By the time we arrived in Kyoto it was already around 4pm. It didn’t take us long to get to the ryokan we were staying at – about 30mins from Kyoto station. Upon arriving at the ryokan, we saw that they had written my name on the welcome board outside the entrance – see if you can spot it!
There was only really enough time to have dinner, followed by a session in the onsen. End of day one.
Our second day in Kyoto started off at Kyoto International Manga Museum. It is supposedly the biggest manga museum in the world, and it has over 300,000 manga books. To sum it up, it’s a HUGE library. Entry to the museum is 800yen for adults.
They have small exhibits dotted here and there, but basically the museum is just full of manga books (predominantly all in Japanese) which you can pick out and read. That’s what everyone was doing – taking a bundle of manga books and finding a spot to read them.
The museum is quite strict on photography, so I tried to be really sneaky and take some shots on my iPhone. Not very clear photographs, but hopefully you get an idea! There are manga books from the past (1950s/60s) to present day that are all in pretty good condition which you can read.
I picked out some of my favourites, found a spot, and read manga for an hour or so. Very relaxing. It took me a while to read the manga as it was the first time I had actually read whole manga books in Japanese.
After we had read enough manga, we left to get some lunch before heading for Fushimi Inari Shrine.
Fushimi Inari shrine is the most important shrine dedicated to Inari, the shinto god of rice.
As well as visiting the main shrine, most people come to see the rows of torii gates that mark out the hiking trail around the shrine. These gates are donations from various companies and individuals, ranging in price from 400,000 yen to over 1 million yen!
The trail takes a 1-2 hours to complete. Even though it was shady because of the vegetation, the humidity was almost unbearable. It was really bad, and I was sweating A LOT! Eww!
We were so tired by the time we got back. I didn’t mention it, but my brother and I climbed Mt. Fuji last week but we only made it to the 7th station due to the rain from the oncoming typhoon (we had to retire because it was getting slippery and dangerous). That was quite a workout, but this trail at Fushimi Inari was pretty intense too because of the heat and humidity!
The day ended with another trip to the onsen before dinner, then once more to the onsen before going to bed.
I’ll be writing about our third day in Kyoto soon!
Thank you for reading!