Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Near Disaster (for a photographer)
We headed out for the day and hopped on the train - the first time we had done so since getting to Japan. The ticketing system didn't pose too much of a problem and before long we were on the train towards Fushimi Inarii - the temple of the fox. As we were riding along M decided to check the camera and had bad news - "Please charge or replace the battery". I'm still not sure what happened, I definitely checked the camera the night before and it either had full battery or 2/3 full. Anyways, we basically had an expensive paperweight. And I didn't charge or bring the little camera with. So there we were, on the train, going to what was supposed to be one of the most visually appealing shrines in Kyoto (if not Japan and the world) and we didn't have a good camera. After the initial anger at myself I decided we would still go up the mountain through the thousands of torii (vermillion colored "gates") - the experience and memories are more important than the quality of the pictures capturing the memory. We walked a little ways passing many shops until we reached the torii. The torii were very impressive, as expected. The typical visit to the Fushimi Inarii shrine consists of hiking for about 45 minutes up the mountain until you come across a part of the path that splits into a few different directions and had a small shop. Most people stop here because past this point the torii become less and less dense and the views of the city don't get much more impressive. This is what we ended up doing as well and it was well worth the difficult hike. It is still amazing how many gates we passed though.