A few minutes later I was standing beneath the first of many bright orange torii shrine gates.
Thankfully the crowds thinned out the further I got up the mountain and, although the weather was grey and overcast with a bite to the wind, there were only a few intermittent rain drops and my climb kept me warm.
Even without my good camera Fushimi Inari is incredibly photogenic. Much of the route up the mountain is lined with bright orange gates, winding through the forest where a few stubborn maples still held on to their autumnal glory.
There was an older man repainting one of the torii and there were others festooned with wet paint signs and in various degrees of newly painted-ness.
Then there were others that were obviously rotting from within and others that had rotted away leaving empty cement post holes filled with fallen leaves.
The calm and quiet of the surroundings and the walk did me the world of good after days of bonding with my computer in frenzied prep for my talk.
But all too soon it was time for me to head back to Kyoto and, as the rain began to fall, I bought omiyage in one of the station's stores and snagged the last empty seat on my shinkansen back home.