December 28 Borrowing some bikes, the four of us (Aaron, Chad, Malia & myself) biked Kyoto from top to bottom. On our agenda began with an unsuccessful stop at Nijō Castle (二条城) due to New Year's preparations. We proceeded to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺)/ "the temple of the Golden Pavilion" in northern Kyoto (京都) where there was a photo festival and then scurried (as best we could) to get completely across the city (about 11km straight from where we were at the time, not counting lost meanering) in order to get up to the mountains and to Fushimi Inari Taisha (伏見稲荷大社) before sundown. There, we saw over 10,000 torii (or gates) donated by local businesses to Inari, god of prosperity. They wound up the mountain to some awesome overlooks of Kyoto and her night lights at sunset.
The last-minute sprint up the mountain that Face and I made resulted in us becoming tremendously off-trail on the way back down the mountain. Yeah, we got lost, but that was in one of the most impressive neighborhoods I had seen in the mountains of Japan. I found comfort in that loss, like I have many times before in the neighborhoods of other countries.
Many photos were taken, and by the end of the day, everyone earned a trip to onsen later in the week to relax.
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