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East KyotoGo to Slide Show





Path of Philosophy:

Our guide from yesterdaysuggested we pick up tickets to see the Geisha Dancers in Gion (3pm) and to fill out the morning we should try the Path of Philosophy.  The path is an old road (it might take a vehicle) next to a canal.  The canal is pretty much on the boundary between city and mountain so most of the canal is bounded by natural vegetation.

Philosophers WalkPhilosophers WalkWalking the Philosophers Path

The Path itself has all sorts of wonderful details.  First, we were lucky enough to be in Kyoto during the blossom season.  Second, because it was April, there weren't many tourists.  Every so often we find a artist drawing or painting a scene.

WaterfallDetail on Sakura

On the mountain side of the trail are many shrines and temples.  At this point in the trip we have already seen many temples and shrines, but the details in these places is wonderful.

Rat TempleCarpLittle Garden

On the other side of the road are shops targeting western and Japanese tourists.  Most of the stores were traditional (small, ground level), but we found this one Victorian style house - obviously catering to western tourists.

Victorian House

There were a few surprises in  the Japanese stores.  We found a store that seemed to specialize in mobiles and other hanging things.

Pin WheelsMobiles in StoreMobile

Near the end of the Path, we stopped in a more traditional store - a lighting store.  The lamps were reminiscent of a cool aisle in Ikea, but there were many more varieties available.

Lamp Store

Once we finished the path, we walked south toward Gion.  We passed through the two sloping streets - the Ninenzaka Slope and the Sannenzaka slope.  These neighborhoods had some of the highest student counts, and were lined with galleries and more tourist oriented shop.  One store of particular interest was this cat store - it sold nothing but stores - thousands of them.

Cat StoreCat Stuff

As we got closer to Gion, we noticed the shops were becoming more oriented toward the Geisha.  We saw several shops selling very expense shoes and laquerware jewelery, and this fruit vendor selling melons for US $22.

Fancy Mellons

The night before we bought tickets for the Miyako Odori - the spring festival dance by the Geisha.  It's shown in Gion Kobu Kaburenjo, the theatre in the heart of the Geisha district of Gion.  Finding the place was a bit of challenge - we approached from the small lanes and it's not obvious which walled off court yard belongs to the Theatre.  A very helpful dressed up woman gave us a pointer in the right direction.

Outside Miyako Odori

The Production was amazing.  The costumes were out of this world, and the Geisha move without appearing to walk.

Miyako IdoriMiyako IdoriMiyako Idori

The production itself lasts about an hour and covers four seasons.  The sets are very complex - trap doors, moving scenes, multi-layer backgrounds, very complex lighting.  The music is all traditional on traditional instruments and traditional scale (a little hard on my western ear until I got used to it.)

Miyako IdoriMiyako Idori

After two days in Kyoto, we packed up for our day in Nara.  The next morning we went to Kyoto station and took a local train to Nara.

View Over KyotoKyoto Train Station





Outside Miyako Odori
Tags: Japan
Little Garden
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View Over Kyoto
Location: Go To...
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Waterfall
Tags: cherry blossoms, Japan
Rat Temple
Tags: Japan, statue, temple
Mobiles in Store
Tags: Japan, shopping
Kyoto Train Station
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Miyako Idori
Tags: costume, Japan
Miyako Idori
Tags: costume, Japan, performance
Mobile
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Fancy Mellons
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Miyako Idori
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Pin Wheels
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Detail on Sakura
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Miyako Idori
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Cat Stuff
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Philosophers Walk
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Lamp Store
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Victorian House
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Miyako Idori
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Walking the Philosophers Path
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Cat Store
Tags: Japan, shopping
Philosophers Walk
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Carp
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Tags: Japan(21), shopping(5), costume(5), performance(4), cherry blossoms(3), road(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Trip to Japan > East Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > East Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > East Kyoto

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:35:58 Edit
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