Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Fushimi Inari- Evening
When I go to Fushimi Inari, I always try and time my visit so that I can make it to the top of the mountain for sunset. The vista over southern Kyoto is always wonderful, and the walk down in the twilight is fun and a little bit creepy.
However, the last two times I've been up to the top I haven't seen much at all. One time it was raining and very dark and cloudy, and once it was so smoggy that the sun 'set' into the haze about 10 minutes before it was due to dip behind the mountains! This trip was the clearest I have ever seen the area, in fact it was so clear that I could see the tall sky scrapers in Umeda, in northern Osaka, which is some thirty miles to the south.
A little closer in you can see To-ji and it's famous pagoda. This 5 story pagoda is the tallest wooden structure in Japan.
This the usual view spot that most people stop at, there are a few benches and a tea shop nearby. However, if you keep to your left and go though a cemetery you'll come out on the actual summit of the mountain, and have an even more expansive view.
I made sure to bring my tripod this time, as often in the past I've forgotten it. Lugging around a tripod is a pain in the neck for sure, but if you want to shoot in low light it is a necessity.
Once the sun had gone down I went back to the summit for a few more night time pictures of the city. Again, this is something I've tried to do before sans tripod, and so I was pretty excited to be able to actually pull off these shots.
Three really isn't a break in the city between Kyoto and Osaka, and in fact there really isn't much break in the city between Hiroshima and Tokyo! On the train it just blends from urban to suburban and back to urban without much in the way of rural. Thats what happens when you squeeze 127 million people into a small, mountainous country.
This was my fifth trip to Fushimi Inari, and it still ranks as my favorite place in Kyoto and Japan.