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Kyoto: Strolling around Kamogawa River and iconic Gion

Date Published: Last Update:2014/12/15 Entertainment, Food, Traditional Culture, Travel & View point , , , , ,

After enjoying our morning hunt for momiji leaves (we enjoyed it so much that we did not realize that we have walked for more than two hours), we decided to take a short break before we continue our hunting trip. I know Kyoto is one of the best places to enjoy Japanese cuisine but we were just so hungry that we decided to eat at the first restaurant we saw – びびんばはうす (bibinbahausu – bibimbab house) which was a small Korean restaurant near Kinkakujimichi bus stop. Food was really great and food prices were reasonable unfortunately we just came at the wrong time, the restaurant was booked by tour groups. Tour groups that were from KOREA. Yes, surprisingly these Korean tourist still prefer to eat their own cuisine rather than sampling Japanese cuisine. Since the restaurant staff were so busy preparing for the arrival of the next set of tour groups, we just ordered what they could prepare at a short notice – Bibimbab and Chijimi.

Still tired from our morning adventure, we decided to take a bit more break at a coffee shop which has one of the best locations in the city – Kawaramachi (Kyoto’s central entertainment district) where you can enjoy the view of Kamogawa River – Starbucks. Though its outdoor patio has been removed, the shops ambiance is still one of the best (especially the basement floor). I highly recommend you visit this place, I know this coffee chain is everywhere but more than the coffee its all about the ambiance just be patient though in waiting for a seat but if you can’t find one just grab a drink and enjoy a stroll or a quick break by the Kamogawa River.

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After getting that much needed rest for the coming night events we were planning to go to – we planned to visit the Night Illuminations at Kiyomizudera and the Art Aquarium at Nijo Castle (which I told you about in a previous post). We decided to enjoy a stroll by the Kamogawa River. Along its banks are well developed path ways that are great for either bike rides or walks. There were even spaces that serve as picnic areas where you can enjoy with family and friends. Many establishments can also be found here most of which are exclusive. At night this establishment light up and create one of the best night spots to hangout in the city.

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After enjoying a refreshing stroll by the kamogawa river, we then took time to enjoy the iconic streets at Gionmachi Minamigawa or known to many as simple Gion. Gion is mostly famous for geisha’s and maiko’s (gaisha apprentice), it is also the best place to see traditional Japanese merchant houses. Being here feels like your in a time capsule – everywhere you look you see well preserved Japanese traditional structures. Besides the well preserved look, what I love more about being in Gion is how it has incorporated the new – yes you see old wooden lattice widows and yet see new trends incorporated within it. The most popular area or street in Gion is Hanami-koji. Many of the old houses here have been transformed into shops, restaurants and tea houses.

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I know most tourist frequent this place in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the famous maikos of gion and end up sadly being at times rude just to get that most wanted paparazzi shots of them. If you are really interested in seeing and experiencing being entertained by real maikos for a fraction of the cost then head your way to Gion Corner which is located at the end of Hanami-koji street. For more information about Gion Corner, please visit this site.

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