I spent a wonderful couple of hours wandering in the drizzle around the paths and lanes of Yoshidayama in Kyoto. Lying between the 2 tourist hotspots of Heian Jingu and Ginkakuji, just east of Kyoto University, its an area missed by most tourists, which adds enormously to its charm.
The southern "hump" is dominated by Kurodani Temple and acres of cemetery which abound with cherry blossoms in the spring. Around it and between it and the northern "hump", the residential area is more like a mountain village with stairways and narrow lanes heading off in all directions.
The northern highpoint is dominated by Takenaka Inari shrine, much smaller than the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine south of Kyoto, but somehow more atmospheric and quietly eerie.
By wandering the multitude of paths I was able to visit another half dozen shrines scattered around the wooded hill before finally coming down into Yoshida Jinja, one of the 22 major shrines of ancient Japan.
Then it was back out into the incessant roar of traffic and streets packed with swarms of zombie-like tourists.
Yoshidayama Kyoto hiking Japan Kansai
Sightseeing in Kyoto