A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Uji tea museum

Byodo-in, Uji



Lots of prayers at Fushimi Shrine, Inari

One of the more open torii tunnels

Foxy prayers

Mini-torii in waiting...

Its raining again...I'm just waiting for the morning rush hour to calm down before I go across town to Tokyo Station, I couldn`t quite cope with that with my two rucksacks and in this heat. I'm on my way to Kyoto to meet Erica for her time in Japan.

I caught the edge of the rush hour anyway, but survived. I couldn't get a right hand window seat on the shinkansen, but it was too cloudy to see Mount Fuji anyway, in fact it has poured with rain all day and I am quite wet still. I am losing the plot though, as I got lost yet again today, trying to find my hostel in the rain with all my heavy baggage. I was one block out. In the recent past I have found my way across foreign towns in the middle of the night really drunk when I had only got into town that day, so it must finally be Alzheimers.

Anyway, my hostel cell wasn`t ready yet and I thought I should carry on making use of my JR Pass and try and do stuff Erica and I might not, so I headed south towards Nara, first to Uji, then to Inari. Uji was to see the World Heritage Byodo-in, also on the back of the ten yen coin. It was a gorgeous building, though the pouring rain put me off exploring the rest of the town.

And then to Inari, specifically to the Fushimi Shrine, really so I could take photos of the tunnels of red torii, but it was so overcast and dark I just couldn't get the pics I wanted. However, it was great. The mountain side is covered with shrines, mostly to the fox god Inari - god of cereals, e.g. rice and saki, it is his HQ - but all the paths are covered with tunnels of red torii, the red gate-arches that normally mark the entrance to a shinto shrine. Though these unfortunately didn`t keep the pouring rain off, they did look great. Perhaps we will return in sunnier weather (we did). After a while the rain drove me off, but it was starting to get darker anyway. I finally decided to give in and get a brolly, all the Japanese were dry and smart-looking, and I - as usual - looked a complete state.

And tomorrow, Erica flies in, and hopefully I will be there to meet her!

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