Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社 Fushimi Inari Taisha), one of the top rated tourist attractions in Kyoto. I am pretty sure almost every visitor of Kyoto would pay this beautiful shrine a visit perhaps due to the thousands of vermillion Torii Gates, and its rich history back dated to 711 A.D. (1,300 years ago!). The Torri Gates made its appearance in the movie “Memoirs of a Geisha” where young Sayuri ran through the beautiful orange tunnel to make prayer — One of the many unforgetably beautiful scenes in the movie that I longed to pay a visit.
It was a particularly hot and humid mid-summer day in Kyoto when I visited Fushimi Inari Shrine. The main temple ground was as usual, flooded by visitors. As I am heat intolerant, I was already feeling a little worse than normal when we reached the temple. Coming from an equatorial country, I would say the humidity of Kyoto is just amazing. A short 5 minutes walk outdoor in summer will get you well coated with a thin layer of stickiness that you’ll have to endure the whole day. xD Nuff said, due to the heat and crowd, we did a very brief sightseeing at the main temple ground and began our hiking journey through the Torii Gates.
It wasn’t the best day to visit the shrine as the sun was too shy hiding behind a miserable cloud. I’ve probably expected too much from the beautiful movie and the breathtaking pictures taken by various bloggers all over the world. There wasn’t impressive and contrasting colour gradation in the Torii tunnel since the sun wasn’t cooperating. But I do enjoy riding the waves of emotions in my heart as I take my steps up the stretch slowly.
One of the behind-the-scene picture I wanted to include in the post. Most of the Fushimi Inari Torii Gates pictures you see online are hardly crowded but this what you get in reality. In fact, the place is more crowded than this picture. But what you can do is to stay in one spot and wait for that “perfect moment” and snap quickly.
As many bloggers have probably covered every corner of the shrine, I am going to cover something else in the post instead. As a cafe addict, I always gather a list of cafe nearby each and every attraction and try to slot a cafe visit in when opportunities arise. One cafe nearby the Fushimi Inari Shrine is the Vermillion Espresso Bar. It was a brutally humid day, and we needed a spot to cool down and spend some leisure time before heading to Yumeyakata for the Yukata dressing experience.
So we decided to pay this cosy cafe some 2 minutes walk away from the shrine. The cafe is just right on your way to/from Fushimi Inari Shrine. I would say it is a nice location to rest after a tiring hike to the top of the torii gates, or an ideal place to get your daily cuppa boost before making your way up the stairs of Mount Inari.
I ordered their house blend iced coffee. It was rich and fruity, but somehow I think I prefer beans of such flavour served hot. Just a personal preference, though. However, I do look forward to my next trip back to Kyoto, perhaps in a cooler season so that I can give their hot coffee a try!
My friends ordered the Iced Matcha Latte. It was love at first sip. The subtle bitterness and the mellow, lingering sweet aftertaste was astounding. A must-order if you love Matcha. Highly recommended!
The cosy cafe provides nice ambience and tons of books about Kyoto. They carry adorable souvenirs as well. I got two cute Fushimi Inari postcards that I didn’t see it elsewhere.
Writer’s Note: A nice little cafe to chill near major tourist site. Could be crowded depending on season, but we were lucky to have the cafe all by ourselves for two hours! It is conveniently located on your way to/from the Fushimi Inari Shrine, with hipster atmosphere. I would certainly recommend every visitors who wonder around Fushimi Inari Shrine to get your coffee fix here. (The owner of the cafe spent 17 years as a barista in Melbourne btw!)
Vermillion Espresso Bar & Info. (click me)
Address: 85 Fukakusa Inarionmaecho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture.
Opening Hours: 9am-530pm
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