A view under the east wing of the main building before leaving the shrine. The clouds were further dulling what little light remained as the wind picked up and it started to lightly rain, so I quickly jumped on a bus with the aim of taking the loop back to Kyoto Station 京都駅 and getting something for dinner.
But that's not what happened. Instead, with phone battery almost depleted, I noticed I'd missed a stop where I could catch another service back around and was therefore heading further north than I'd intended. I jumped off near Takaragaike Station 宝ヶ池駅 hoping to quickly backtrack on the Eizan Electric Railway 叡山電鉄 south to Demachiyanagi Station 出町柳駅, from which – the last of my phone battery had allowed me to ascertain – I could then return easily via the Keihan Electric Railway 京阪電鉄.
But I was too late: the station timetable showed the last Eidan えいでん for the day was long gone.
With the rain getting heavier I walked back to the bus stop where it was clear there were no other routes that intersected, so I took the next bus that came along (following the same route I'd been on already) with the theory that it'd be better than staying in the rain and it'd eventually terminate somewhere that'd allow reversing course.
Half an hour later, well away from the city and up in the hills, the bus arrived at an empty parking lot in Ohara 大原 where the driver promptly vanished. At least the rain had stopped. The signage at the station was exclusively in Japanese, my phone was dead and I wasn't quite sure what to do, but then a car pulled in and three elderly women got out. One of them spoke some English and they were happy to assist a lost foreigner! They'd come to the station to rendez-vous with another friend and begin their hanami 花見 in Kyoto 京都, something they'd done together every year since high school. After a brief chat they determined that the parked bus would resume its service later and head back to the city, and I thanked them profusely for their help. Their friend arrived before long and they all went on their way, then the bus driver appeared and with me as the sole passenger we headed back down the hill. It was a long night but I eventually made it, thanks to those gracious ladies.