The beautiful and ethereal forest floor of Kibune. For me, perhaps the highlight of the trip, as the lifted roots of trees is quite nostalgic for me.
In an effort to see some of the fall colors this year, the Town Mouse and I decided to head up to Kurama for some hiking, as there is a popular “hiking” trail that leads from Kurama to Kibune Temple. Of course, once we got there, we realized pretty quickly it wasn’t so much hiking as stair climbing... and more stair climbing. Taking the trail up, there is nothing but stairs, with a small pit stop for closed panoramic views and temples, before the descent down even more stairs begins.
The forest is truly beautiful, though foot traffic is heavy, enough so that pedestrian lanes must be followed, but all the same, it was an enjoyable walk. It was a little early for the colors still, but perhaps it was a bad year for color this year. From what I’ve overheard, Arashiyama was the only place in central Kyoto that showed a full change, and no where in Kyoto did it stand up to last year’s brilliance. Then again, the weather’s been pretty off this year too.
All in all, I recommend the path for anyone who has an afternoon to kill and wants to do it in nature, but don’t go expecting a true hike- you’ll be disappointed!