Travel Diary - Day 5 - From the Mountains to the Hanamachi

First thing in the morning we headed to Kifune. Rilakkuma got very excited when we saw a sign warning us about bears - however we didn't end up seeing any.
There was quite a walk up up to the shrine but when we arrived it was well worth it!


So many pretty lanterns. The shrine itself isn't very big but if you keep on exploring there is plenty to see.

Enough photos Rilakkuma says - time to explore!

Further up the hill there are some little shrines.

The little riverside town is also very beautiful.

After a while you tend to get over awed by all of it and trying to capture it all seems impossible as its gorgeous every way you turn.

There was a cool market just starting to set up at the last shrine but as I needed to keep moving - and the stuff I liked the look of was plant-based I moved on.

So I retraced my steps back down the hill to the station. The forest path between Kifune and Kurama-dera was closed due to fallen trees so my only choice was to hop on the train again.

At Kurama more red lanterns lead the way.  By this time as my legs were like jelly I opted to catch the cable car up half of the way. Even so there were many, many more steps in order to reach the temple. Well it is a mountain after all.

Once again every-way you looked it was picturesque.

And even though by now my legs and feet were done for I was not unhappy because how can you when surrounded by all this majesty.

After making it back to the train I decided a rest back at the hotel was in order. Then once the sun was beginning to set I headed out once more.

On my way I saw two actual Maiko hurrying along in the backstreets. I'm pretty sure they weren't tourists dressed up as they were carrying their Shamisen and there was no photographer following them. I felt extremely lucky seeing them but I didn't get a photo as it's rude to take people's photo without asking and they looked in too much of a hurry for me to ask them to stop.

First I went for an early dinner at the Hello Kitty Chaya.

Such a fan of cute food!

There was also a Ghibli store nearby with some cool displays. After a bit more shopping in the Hanamachi I headed towards Kodaji for their evening illumination.

There was a massive line to get in and once in it was very crowded - but I think it was worth it.

Inside there were some very small buildings which reminded me of Hobbit homes, which seemed an odd thing to have inside a temple. However the glass like pond and the bamboo grove were absolutely stunning.

Once out I stopped by Entokuin which was not crowded at all and had a beautiful Tatami room that you could sit in while looking out on their garden.

After this it was time to head back to bed as even with painkillers my feet and legs were done for!