Woke up early to beat the crowds for one last sightseeing before leaving Kyoto. Checked out and left by bag at the station in a coin locker before catching a train heading south to see Fushimi Inari-taisha. The shrine famous for the thousands of orange painted torii gates that ascend the mountainside. Upon arrival a number of people were already here, including a large group of students, so I decided to move past the main shrine at the base and head straight to the gates. Now this walk was significantly longer than expected. It took about 3 hours to do the full route. Not everyone does the full ascent, most only stay near the bottom at the most dense area of gates. My iPhone says I did 98 flights of stairs that morning. There were only a few people on the higher parts of the mountain, including one older Japanese man - who must have been in his late 70s, who video recorded his entire journey. We later passed each other on the lower grounds and he gave me a 'congratulatory nod.'
As I descended from the top and encountered the mass of tourists at the bottom I found a divergent path that led into another bamboo forest, at least half the path was, the other half was Japanese cyprus.
Took the train back to Kyoto Station to grab my bag, then took the Shinkansen headed west to work my way to Naoshima Island. After that another train, a transfer train, a ferry and I had arrived at the next place of stay, in the Seto Inland Sea. It started to rain on the way there, and I could feel the humidity go up. The port while waiting for the ferry to the island was showing 100% humidity on my phone.
Landing on the island I take the single bus that goes around to where I am staying, a Mongolian Yurt on the beach. It is raining and very foggy out. So certainly doesn't seem like beach weather. But the air is so warm that it seemed okay to walk around. A different two from the studio were already on the island from the night before, but exploring a different island for the day, so they were not here when I arrive. Naoshima has, since the early 1990s, been the site of various cultural institutions from a single organization (Benesse Corportation), despite the island's small fishing population. The islands (as there are now buildings on 3 of them) are sometimes referred to as the Art Islands. . The first which was built, the Benesse House which was the result of combining a hotel with a art museum, designed by Tadao Ando (as are many of the museums on the island). And this was my first destination walking from the Yurt, as it is open the latest of any of the museums, and also closest. There is a shuttle bus that goes between all the museums so I was able to take that up the hill. There are no photos allowed in any of the Museums on the island, so most images are just going to be island scenery and what I can photograph from the exterior. Many of the buildings sit into the side of the island, so often there is very little exterior to see.
Heading back to the Yurt I walked out onto the dock to look back towards the beach area where the Yurts are, then proceeded out along the beach past the Yellow Pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama - which seems to be somewhat of the poster-image for artwork on the island as I had dinner booked through the hotel as there is nothing for food on this part of the island. Here I met up with the other two from school and we share stories from our travels thus far and plan out a day for tomorrow.