The Early Bird Tour with Kyoto Fun
Nothing beats the Early Bird Tour when it comes to getting great photos and especially those of the Fushimi Inari shrine. And taking in the top three sights before most people finish breakfast is very satisfying too. We get to have the places to ourselves and get a lot more done in a short amount of time too. I hope that you really enjoyed this tour. Here is a little recap of the places we went. Note that depending on the pace of your tour and the interests of the group you are with that day, there may be slight variations but either way this can serve as a little memory for you of the day you had with Kyoto Fun Tours.
Places we discover on this tour
We started out at the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine which is dedicated to the Inari fox and a place to pray for a bountiful harvest. We first went to see the main shrine buildings and showed you how to make a shinto prayer and taught you a little about the customs of shintoism. Then we made our way to the real highlight, the amazing "sen-bon dori" with it's over one thousand gates resembling a red tunnel. We chatted about Shinto beliefs as well as some stories about the founding of the shrine. We got some great photos along the way and then made our way back to where we met that morning to grab a taxi to the next stop.
We then made our way to the amazing Kiyomizu Temple. A place rich in heritage and with spectacular views of the temple complex itself as well as the city below. We could take in the place in a relative calm, making it hard to believe we were at the most famous temple in Japan. Then a chance to look out at the city below from the famous "kiyomizu platform" where surprisingly people used to take a "leap of faith" seeing if the gods favoured them or not. We could also look at the treasured deity of the temple the "Kannon" goddess of mercy.
Soon after, we were visiting the famous Jishu Shrine with a more romantic theme. After seeing the famous love stones, we then saw the tree where people would nail straw dolls in order to curse their lovers. After that we took a stroll down the stairs passing the famous falls where you can drink for health, wealth and wisdom then continued through the beautiful grounds until we reached the slope filled with many shops slowly starting to open. We then visited the areas of Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka in the Higashiyama district before heading our way across town to Arashiyama.
Arashiyama is a place blessed with natural beauty and also as a popular destination for travellers and there is a lot to see and do here. As we arrived here, the city was definitely starting to come alive and there were already a few tour busses unloading. Depending on the pace of your tour, we may have been able to show you also the zen garden of Tenryuji an UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the most amazing things to see in this garden is the beautiful pond and the "borrowed scenery" using the mountains as a backdrop for the garden. Another nice thing here is that it leads right out to the bamboo forest.
The Saga Arashiyama bamboo forest is simply a delight to see in the early morning light. We used some tricks to get some great photos here and then concluded the tour at one of the most beautiful places in Kyoto giving you a chance to continue to explore the rest of the area on your own.
Thanks again for sharing some of your precious time in Kyoto with us. We really hope you enjoyed the day and please do remember to write us a review either on facebook or tripadvisor! It means a lot for a little company like ours. http://www.kyotofun.com/thanks-for-the-review.html
And if you got some great photos, please be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #kyotofunphoto to enter a chance to win a prize as we pick a winner every year for best photo. Hope to see you in Kyoto again soon!