Even if you're not familiar with the name, I'm pretty sure you've seen photos of those huge torii gates and their distinctive bright red-orange color. THAT is Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine.
- Take a cup and fill it with water
- Using your right hand to hold the handle, pour some of the water over your left hand
- Switch it to your left hand and pour some of the water over your right hand
- Shift the handle back to your right hand
- Cup your left hand and pour some of the water into it
- Bring the water to your mouth and rinse. Do NOT drink the water and do NOT touch the cup with your mouth
- If there's water left, tilt the handle so the cup side is on top. Let the water flow through the handle to cleanse it for the next user. Do NOT return the remaining water back to the water source.
- BEAT THE CROWDS. Try to be there early in the morning. We left Osaka a bit late that day so we arrived in Kyoto just before lunch time. It was around 11:30 AM when we visited the shrine and it was really crowded! Trust me, it's hard to take cutesy photos with the torii gates if a lot of people are passing by. And because the paths are often narrow, standing there for photos is a bit of an inconvenience for other visitors.
- TAKE A REST. If you are planning to go all the way to the inner shrine, allow yourself enough time for breaks. It can be a long walk to the top of the mountain. Bring your own water bottle if you can as there are few places to get refreshments once on the path to the mountain.
- From KYOTO Station, take the JR NARA LINE and get off at INARI Station. You'll see first large torii gate, which serves as the main entrance to the shrine, right outside the station.
- Free admission