Kyoto: Fushimi Inari and Strolling

Kyoto, Day 3 of not nearly enough!

Today started with a trek to Fushimi Inari, a shrine with lots and lots of bright red gates stretching up a mountainside. It’s an iconic view you’ve probably seen before. Because today was the vernal equinox, the site was really crowded with domestic tourists.

It was neat, though, because many people had on kimonos! I’m not sure if this is normal for Kyoto, but it was certainly neat for us to see.

It seemed to us like many women had chosen kimonos that featured orange, so they could coordinate with the torii gates. Or perhaps that was complete coincidence?

I took a little video of our walk. The path is narrow and there were lots of people, but the site was still deeply touching and somehow calm.

Family selfie! I think I might be getting better at these. Should I get a selfie stick?

We walked about halfway up Mt. Inari before turning back towards the base.

In an unexpected twist, the road at the bottom of the shrine was lined in street-food stalls, all of which were doing a brisk business. We decided to graze for lunch. Spiralized potatoes, orange juice, pancakes shaped like fish and filled with red bean paste…

SO much to choose from! And barely a trash can in sight.

It was really fun to watch the food being prepared.

These yuba bean curd skin rolls were a favorite. Chewy, gooey, with shredded pickled cabbage, they were very satisfying and filling. Even Ami liked them.

We also got to watch takoyaki (octopus fritters) being prepared. This is a specialty of Osaka, where we head tomorrow.

After our stand-up, super healthy lunch, we hopped a train back into the center of town to check out a shopping district.

Shopping with a toddler in tow is a leeetle difficult, but we still got to see a good bit. Japanese people in general are super stylish and I find their clothing stores more than a little intimidating, so I haven’t really gotten too much for myself. I’ve definitely enjoyed the window-shopping and checking out the food markets, too. 

The Japanese plastic food game in on point.

Nishiki Market, a narrow, covered street full of food stalls, was crowded and fascinating. We admired pickles and spice blends and prepared foods.

After Nishiki, the three of us headed back to the hotel. Ami was going to have another fun night with a babysitter (her second this trip) so Logan and I could have a date night with Jody and Tori at Tempura Matsu!

OMG, dinner, you guys. Everything was delicious, and hyper local, and so freaking seasonal I could spit. We had tofu skin and sea urchin and special pepper and tempura oysters and squid aged for four days and homemade udon and everything was just so good. It even made up for the fact that when we got back to the hotel at 10:30 the sitter hadn’t been able to get Ami to lay down for bed. So not only did we have a lovely meal, I got some extra snuggle time in with my little love. Not at all a bad way to end a day.

Tomorrow: OH NO we have to say goodbye to Kyoto! But good news: we are on our way to Osaka. 

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