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Jaimee. Student of Japanese and anthropology.

Another must-see when visiting Kyoto is Fushimi Inari, or the famous red gates. Fushimi Inari station is only a 5-minute train ride from Kyoto on the JR Nara line. From the station, the shrine is directly across the road and once you walk through the main grounds of the shrine, you begin your ascent to the top of the mountain under hundreds of red gates. A little tip is to try and walk off the main paths as much as you can, like on dirt trails, you come across some really secluded cemeteries and shrines that are so serene. Like this one:

When walking up the main path though (up thousands of stairs!) you will come to a half waypoint called the crossroads, which has cafes and look out points. Pretty much all the way up the mountain you come across vending machines and cafes. It takes roughly 2 hours to reach the top where you will literally be greeted by a sign that says “this is the top”, but it’s such a great climb with amazing views and hundreds of gates! The walk down takes about 30 minutes and you come out on a different path you came in on (well, we did anyway). It was the best experience!