I know, I know, I know!… Its been months since my birthday!… Please forgive me this time again.. workload and laziness at its finest… In return, you’ll get to see a series of my awkward self-timer photos. So… Enjoy!
Mt. Kurama and Kibune is located outside of northern part of Kyoto. Coming from/to Kyoto to Kurama is quite easy, as its only less than an hour from Demachiyanagi Station. From there, its up to you if you want to go first to Kibune and to Kurama or take the usual route (from what I’ve seen most in travel blogs and guides and what I did too), Kurama then to Kibune.
If you haven’t already know (I’m assuming you know – its my second time in Kyoto, Japan last October, 2014). I was in Kyoto, for just a day. So, imagine cramming all the sights to see and things to do for just one full day – nope don’t imagine, because we didn’t get to see (Arashiyama Bamboo Forest) for the most part of it. Never cram your itinerary friends! Never!… And because of that, one of the things I said to myself that I will do, once I’m back is to concentrate mainly in Kyoto area. And do a day trip outside Kyoto (which, thankfully, I did).
Then came my Birthday. It was past 9 am when I arrived at the station of Kurama. Only a handful of tourist were there – which is a good thing for me. Once I got out of the station, I was welcome by this kinda-big-scary-red face. I’ve read, that it was called a Tengu and said to be the guardian of the mountain. Past that, I saw a flight of stairs going up to the shrine and paid 300yen, which in return, I was given a map. I barely used the map because I just wanted to stroll along and follow the little crowd. “To where my feet will take me!” As they say…
At some point of hiking, I encountered this really big, tall, and I think, more than a century old tree. It was really majestic! There’s a path that leads to the cable car/gondola. I didn’t try to ride it, because for me, it will forfeit the sense of ‘hiking’. By the time I reached some sort of plaza – there I saw a few of tourists with a guide. Also, at that ‘plaza’ (let me just call it a plaza, cos I really don’t know what to call it), I’ve noticed and even copy some hikers – praying at the middle of plaza in front of a temple.
Spoiler alert: look out for a ‘symbol’ on the floor of the plaza! I may not know what’s the meaning of that ‘symbol’ but it felt like you’re energy was renewed just by standing on that ‘symbol’.
As I go further behind the plaza, I’ve been discreetly following a group of guided hikers. You know, latching into them not too far and not too close. By the time, they were taking a break, I think the guide already know that I’ve been following them (because of the look he gave me) – naturally, I acted as if I just saw them and walked past ahead of them. Because, I was busted for latching to a group hikers – I do not know the story of the pictures below.
Upon reaching Kibune, I didn’t go all the way up of the stairs. For me, those
almost 3-hours spent at Mt. Kurama was enough for my day hike. Also, it was almost lunch time and I figured I should be heading back to Kyoto.
In my opinion, the trail was really an easy hike, good for everybody. Simply follow the map or the signage you’ll be in a good hands. You may or may not copy, when some hikers offer a prayer at the shrine, or when they’re drinking water fresh from the mountain. Its really up to you, whatever reason you may have.
As for me, I did it to reconnect with nature, inhaling the positive vibes-exhaling the negativity, being grateful to be doing the things I (still) can and want to do and to be just really thankful for another year life has given me!
There you have it friends! Hope you enjoyed reading it and also my awkward self-timer photos.