Tanukidani Fudoin

Although I’m often in the vicinity I’d never had a strong inclination to visit Tanukidani Fudoin , better known as Tanukudani or the Racoon-dog alley temple, until very recently. In between my busy winter tours and otherwise hectic life I knew I needed a serious breather so I took myself off for a walk, alone, way up into the mountain, via several, very steep sets of stairs.

Within the first 10 minutes I pondered what might happen should I go into cardiac arrest en route but I persevered and was well rewarded for my efforts. Apart from achieving a bit of a personal goal to make it up the bloody mountain – it  happened to be extremely peaceful from start to finish, with only a couple of other visitors ( much older and more fit than myself) within my view for the entire hour or so it took me to walk up and back.   Definitely a place to escape and process. Reflect and breathe……

Now, while I catch my breath – I’ll let you take a look.

By the way… the little ceramic critters you see along the path are called Tanuki – you can read more about these amusing shapeshifters here.

yes, that was me  buckled over at step 206… but I did make it to 250 and then some…

Keep going they chanted… keep going…

Tanuki yoda?

The sweetest little Jizo

‘Welcome pilgim!’

ALL THE WAY UP!!!

And then aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the way back down again….

Was that a bear I heard, rustling in the trees… hopefully just a monkey…. I picked up the pace

friendly couple… looking surprised that I’d made it.

And I’m out!

And down the mountain I head, past the Car temple…. yep, roll up and get your stickers to ensure your driving safety for the year

Beautiful afternoon… I’d survived the climb.

Bliss.

If you have plenty of time in Kyoto and feel like hiking up a hill I highly recommend this. And visit Shisendo temple and its garden on the way back to the main road.

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