Japan – Day Five – Kyoto and Nara京都市

Me and two friends are spending the next 8 days in Japan. Follow along as I post each day, starting here with the first. Day five was spent traveling in Kyoto and Nara.


We started the day around 6AM, having been told by a fellow traveler the day before to arrive in Nara before the crowds. And oh my… they were right. We caught the 7AM train from Kyoto station and arrived at the Fushimi Inari Shrine a few minutes later. To all you thinking about traveling around Japan, get the JR Rail Pass. You basically pay one lump sum before arriving in Japan and then you can take the trains as often as you want while you’re here for free. It pays for itself in the first few days.

Back to the shrine… We made the hike through the iconic gates, about an hour or so, to a lookout above the city. The main theme of traveling in Japan is: Get places early. This country is beautiful and so worth visiting, and thankfully travelers of the world agree, but wow, there are so many people at spots like these. So get there early. Traveling from the west makes it easy since the jet lag (16 hours…) is working for us in that direction.

After the shrine, we made our way down the hill toward the train station, found an awesome little street full of vendors. One guy was making sweet potatoes. They were delicious.

We hopped back on the train and head over to Nara. Free-roaming deer welcomed us, especially Thomas, and begged for food. The most they got out of us was Thomas’ dropped ice cream.

We finished the day in Nara by visiting a centuries-old shrine with a copper Buddha the size of a five-story building. They built all of it without power tools. Mind. Blown.

Tomorrow, more Kyoto and a reading day.