Mr. Selfish and I decided to take a short day trip to Mount Kurama, which is about a half an hour train ride away from Kyoto. Mount Kurama is a mountain that is northwest to the city and is the birthplace of Reiki practice, which is a form of alternative medicine.
The most popular attraction on Mount Kurama is the Kurama-dera, which is a Buddhist temple. Apparently, Kurama-dera is quite popular with Japanese tourists since it has an aura of mystery and occult associated with it. In particular, it is still believed today that tengu and other mountains spirits live in the area. Tengu are mythical creatures with human and avian characteristics, which are often depicted with large noses.
We also stopped by the Yuki Shrine for a bit of a breather. This shrine is famous for its fire festival held annually in October.
You can take a cable car up Mount Kurama, but Mr. Selfish and I needed the exercise so we walked. It was a fun and easy hike with some nice views.
If you want to take a quick and easy day trip out of Kyoto, Mount Kurama is an option. I wasn’t blown away by the sights on the mountain, but it was good for me and Mr. Selfish to get some exercise (since we never found an affordable gym in Kyoto).