The red, green and gold tour of must-visit locations around Kyoto was most interesting because of our friendly guide for the day Taichi Asami. A university student, who volunteers with Kyoto greeters to show foreign tourists his city, his way..
A lot of emails had gone back and forth between us to chose these three most popular spots around Kyoto. Yet Taichi had promised we would break free from the stereotype tours here and do the different on his local food tours.
We were excited to met him at the Yamadaya ryokan where we were staying close to the station and he helped us navigate the crowds to reach the platform of the suburban trains we were to board for our tour of the surrounding areas of the city
First stop : Gimme Red : Fushimi inari shrine
A truly remarkable shrine that boasts of 10,000 vermilion red Torii’s (traditional Japanese red gates) that snake it’s way up the hill.At the summit is the shrine in honour of Inari, the god of rice, sake, and prosperity. Hence visited by devotees from the business community and individuals thankful for their prosperity.
Each torii has the name of the donor inscribed on its left.There is a feeling of bliss as you walk through this long tunnel of torii which is truly one of the most iconic visions of Kyoto.
All that energetic climbing up and down (albeit half way) the hill had left us ravenous for food and it was sheer delight to exit into the food alley. Taichi helped us chose the right food (Vegetarian mochi rice cakes on a stick for Jaydeep). Lots of grilled meaty delights topped with mayonnaise here. Munching on the sticks we walked back to the station to board the train to our next site.
Second stop : Go green : Arashiyama bamboo forest
Third stop : Golden temple : Kinkakuji