Heading south beyond the Higashyama area of Kyoto this morning I explored the vast shrine at Fushimi-Inari-Taisha, which is spread out across a wooded mountain area to the east of the city. The most extraordinary feature of this huge shrine is the incredible number of  gates (called Torii) which snake through the landscape in numerous directions, forming tunnels through the surrounding trees.

After lunch I stayed on the east side of the Kamo-gama and cycled back north in the direction of central Kyoto into southern Higashiyama to visit Ninen-Zaka and Sannen-Zaka, two delightful streets in a neighbourhood of old wooden houses, restaurants and shops. Although I expected the area to be bustling with tourists, most of them were content to stay in the most popular shopping areas.

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