Mt. Daimonji

My damn Salomon XA 3D GTX outsoles were separating from the shoe (again!), and Wei Chiang and I had planned to do a bit of hiking today or tomorrow, so I had to get it repaired. I rented a bike available with our accommodation to ride down to a mall in central Kyoto. The cobbler took my shoes, sprayed some glue and pushed the outsole against the shoe with a bit of heat, and it was done in a matter of seconds. To my pleasant surprise, he told me the repair was free. However, he refused to push back the outsole completely for some reason, and there were still small gaps between the outsole and the shoe. So it would never be completely waterproof. But I was happy enough that the shoe was fixed enough for hiking in Japan. I planned to get a new pair when I got home.

I then cycled back to Inari, and agreed to meet at Vermillion cafe, which I had passed on the way down from the Fushimi Inari shrine. However, it had been closed then. The interior was spacious with a large wooden tables, and led to a balcony with a view of creek mostly obscured by overhanging tree branches. I got a 400 yen cappuccino, which tasted like the good brewed coffee I wanted, unlike the one at Musubi cafe. Wei Chiang got a brunch set at 1500 yen. At that price, he got a bountiful spread, at about the same value of the brunches at home.

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At the cafe, we decided to make us of the bikes to cycle together to Mt. Daimonji. It took about 45 minutes, but the whole ride was a lovely way to experience the streets of Kyoto. We even got to walk/cycle a short portion of the Philosopher’s walk under the cherry blossoms. Finally, we found Daimonji temple, where the trailhead was near, presumably. However, we had to walk a bit further away to find a semi-legal place to park our bicycles.

After a bit of hunting, we found the trailhead to Mt. Daimonji. The entrance outside Daimonji temple had been crowded with tourists, but the world was quiet here at the trailhead. We began walking up the steep slope, encountering many flights of stairs going up, up, up. I hadn’t been exercising for a while, and despite the nice, cool weather, I began sweating even with only a T-shirt on.

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As we walked up, we rested at scenic lookout points, enjoying the panorama of Kyoto shrouded in a smoky fog. We eventually had the satisfaction of finding the peak of Mt. Daimonji, and made our way back down. Along the way, we exchanged congenial konichiwas with other hikers.

Finally at the bottom, we walked down the steep street lined with shops. And I decided to try a choux cream puff (300 yen). The custard was impossibly smooth and creamy!

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Wei Chiang let me decide our dinner, so we went to gyoza place a friend recommended that was just opposite Yakitori Tarokichi where I ate dinner yesterday, which we cycled to via the Kyoto canal. Along the way, we had a bit of fun jumping on rocks in the middle of the canal.

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Wei Chiang contemplating a particularly far jump

Gyoza8 was pretty empty when we got there. However, the truffle dumplings I had been recommended to get were sold out. We tried to other flavours, including some novelty options. They were nice, but nothing very interesting that made me want to go back.

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We were still a bit hungry, so we wandered around Gion for food. We ended up trying some appetising looking Kyoto okonomiyaki for 730 yen, sold in front of brightly lit and attractive shopfront where they assembled the okonomiyaki in front of you.

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But that was still not the end of our appetites. In the end, we went to the budget gyudon franchise Sukiya. It was an affordable meal! And as good as the Yoshinoya beef bowl I had at the airport. With meals from three different places in my tummy, I was satiated. Wei Chiang and I took our bikes and cycled back to our accommodations in Inari.

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My friend captured the day in video form here:

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