While we were in Kyoto, we decided to take a little trip and check out Shirahige Shrine (Shirahige Jinja 白鬚神社), located on the western side of Lake Biwa in Takashima. It's famous for its "floating" torii and for being responsive to prayers of longevity, matchmaking, having a baby, better luck and prosperous business.
We decided to visit this place because it's pretty cool to see a torii "floating" in the water, right? It's similar to the famous torii in Miyajima, but much less crowded as it's pretty hard to get to.
It took about an hour-long train ride from Kyoto Station to get to Omitakashima Station, and it was pretty interesting passing by the more "country" side of Japan. We saw tons of rice paddies on the way! Once we got to Omitakashima, there was like no one around, the station was completely empty. We tried to take a cab from the station to Shirahige, but the one cab that was parked in the cab loading zone was empty, the driver was no where to be found! So we walked, and it was quite a long walk, over half an hour I think. But, it was a really peaceful walk along the beach and I had great company. :)
We really wanted to get there for sunset and I think we missed it by about 10 minutes. The perfect lighting was just before we arrived at the shrine. But, I think we still got some good photos!
The walk back to the station was so fucking scary. First of all, it was super dark. Half of the walk is right next to a highway on a really narrow sidewalk, if there was even a sidewalk. On some parts, it was just the shoulder of the road that we had to walk on. Seriously, if any car wasn't paying attention and veered off the road by just a little bit, our lives could have easily been taken. And then when there weren't any cars, it was pitch black, super quiet, and we were walking alongside eerie bushes that could have easily been a hiding spot for a serial killer. Just saying.
After the highway, we decided to walk through the town instead of along the beach. And it was so ridiculously quiet! It was creepy. It was only like 6 pm, but it seemed like everyone was sleeping, or for some reason, had deserted the town. It could've been a setting for a horror movie. Luckily, I had great company on this walk and we made it back to the station in one piece. :)
Access: From Kyoto Station: JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line towards Yamashina, 55 minutes, ¥840 (covered by JR Pass)
YOU MIGHT LIKE...