I'll be honest: when people shout that any destination as a "Must-visit!" or "Must-see!" it seems a little pretentious to me. Travel, in my humble estimation, is the accumulation of your own uniquely crafted experiences and being told what to do tends to motivate my inner rebellious teenager into a conniption. Who are they to tell me what to do?! Don't tell me how to live my life! Every time you travel you're going to carve out your own personal story of the location and the experience, and how dare anyone tell me how to shape my personal adventure! Huff.
That all being said, I have to admit I'm really quite happy that I made the time to take a trek out to Fushimi Inari. This is one of those spots that earns such prodigious accolades, often ranking pretty high on lists telling you what you absolutely must do while visiting Kyoto.
Well, rest assured that I'm not here to tell you what you must absolutely do. No, I recognize your own independent role as creator of your destiny...However, I would like to suggest that perhaps, if you so happen to find the time, you might like to make your way to Fushimi Inari.
There are reasons why this location, among a few other top spots, is considered such a veritable symbol of any trip to Kyoto. Among being an absolutely beautiful collection of architecture, offering some unique views of Kyoto from above, it's also one of the singular most photogenic places I have ever set foot. Even with my novice photography skills, it's impossible to leave a trip here without at least a few stunning shots. I look forward to the next time I may set foot here, someday, as I'd like to think my photography will have improved and rendered my results even better than these... however, that time has yet to come, so for now, please enjoy my attempts to capture the serenity and stunning views I encountered during my mostly solitary sojourn up the mountain. Arriving rather late in the day as I did, most shops and little restaurants or snack stalls were closed for the evening, and the trail up the mountain was desolate aside from the abundant cawing of crows.