Kyoto has more shrines and temples you can shake a stick at. We visited the one of the most popular called the Fushimi Inari Shrine on the outskirts of Kyoto. It is dedicated to Inari the diety of rice and sake.
It is famous for its thousands of vermilion tore gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.
At the very back of the shrine's main grounds is the entrance to the torii gate-covered hiking trail, which starts with two dense, parallel rows of gates called Senbon Torii ("thousands of torii gates"). The torii gates along the entire trail are donations by individuals and companies, and you will find the donator's name and the date of the donation inscribed on the back of each gate. The cost starts around 400,000 yen for a small sized gate and increases to over one million yen for a large gate.
In the afternoon we visited the Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto's eastern mountains, it is one of the city's best preserved historic districts. Apparently it is a great place to experience traditional old Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops invoke a feeling of the old capital city. Lots of young couples walk around in hired Kimonos which gives it a picturesque look.
The streets in Higashiyama are lined by small shops, cafes and restaurants which have been catering to tourists and pilgrims for centuries. These businesses retain their traditional design, although many have been renovated through the years, and they continue to serve customers today, selling local specialties such as Kiyomizu-yaki pottery, sweets, pickles, crafts and other souvenirs. All in all a massive tourist centre that still operates as a Geisha centre.