Lovely Kyoto (II)

(This is the second part of my last post)

On the day of my trip to Nara, I decided to stop at Fushimi Inari Taisha on my way back. This is a shrine known for the paths of torii gates that surround it:

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Each one of them has been a donation of a company or a person and the name of the donor is written on it:

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You can walk up a mountain trail with thousands of torii gates which lead to small shrines. I had already been told that I wouldn’t find anything special at the end of the path, so I decided to walk until my SD card started to complain about so many pictures and then I went back to my hostel.

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On my last day in Japan, I decided to go to Arashiyama. I went mainly to see a bamboo path so well known that it is actually, if I’ve guessed correctly, on the cover of the Lonely Planet guide for Japan. It should look like this:

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(Source: http://www.insidekyoto.com/arashiyama-bamboo-grove)

It seems to be a place to meditate, to get lost, to be in touch with nature… In fact, it was full of people, the bamboo groves didn’t look very impressive and there where even taxis passing by. This is the least crowded picture that I managed to take:

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But you know what? The trip to Arashiyama wasn’t so bad at all. Because that day I also managed to feed some wild monkeys:

I’m always suspicious of any kind of business that might have to do with animal abuse, but the monkeys in this park live free in the mountains and get in touch with humans just to have some extra food. Actually, you are not allowed to touch the monkeys, to feed them outside of the designated area or… to look at them directly in the eyes:

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I just love how in Japan everything can be explained with a cute cartoon. By the way, in Nara there were also similar warning signs, but in that case, they were thought to protect you from the superevil deers:

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I tried hard not to bother the monkeys, as my natural instinct with animals is to hug them. When I see a cute animal… do you remember that episode on The Simpsons when Homer believed to have found an alien, which eventually turned out to be Mr Burns?

I bring you love. That’s more or less me when I see a cute animal. It’s easy to understand why I decided to be vegan.

Back to the topic, I spent some time feeding the monkeys and taking pictures of them. The views of Kyoto from the monkey park are also pretty nice:

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Hey, you, give me coins, I wanna see the city!

And the monkeys didn’t care very much about the humans, they were just hanging around or yelling at each other. This one seemed to be playing hide-and-seek with its buddies:

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In order to feed the monkeys, you have to get into a cage. Funny. They were all happy after you gave them a peanut, except for one who didn’t seem satisfied until it got its third one. I guess not only humans are greedy.

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By the way, their hands seem so similar to ours when you see them from a short distance! Just a little bit smaller and hairier.

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If anyone is still reading my post after the avalanche of monkey pictures, I’ll just let you know that I have finished writing about Japan. I’m very happy that I decided to go there, it’s a great country where quietness reigns, everything is clean and well organized and people are just adorable. Plus, I didn’t do that bad as a vegan.

Next post will be short. I spent four days in Hong Kong and… let’s say I didn’t like it. See you!

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