Surrounded by lush greenery and tall bamboo trees shooting up into the sky, I observed the beauty of the forest. With each step up the mountain, I could feel the fresh breeze of Japan’s fall season drifting through the air and into my lungs. As I made my way to the top of Mount Inari, I sensed the heat building up in my body from the physicality of the hike. I started off the journey accompanied by a group of tourists. 40 minutes into the trail, they chose to take a break but I didn’t see a reason to stop as I was traveling on my own. I continued trekking for 2–3 hours through the dense foliage on my first afternoon in Kyoto.