Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Kyoto Day 1: Gion

On Saturday morning we arrived in Kyoto--hungry after a pleasant two-hour trip on a "slow-train" from Nagoya (on bullet train the same trip takes only 29 minutes). After a meal of yuba (the cream that floats to the top when tofu is being made) and rice we set out for Gion--the site of "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the most famous traditional "pleasure" district in all of Japan.

Here's a photo of the yuba meal--everything was exquisitely well-prepared. So-called Kyoto-ryori (Kyoto cuisine) is famous throughout Japan.

Caitlin on the streets of Gion. Entire sections of the district have been named historic sites and are preserved as they were hundreds of years ago.

A river runs through Gion and smaller canals run around and sometimes under smaller streets and houses throughout the area.

A few examples of the beautiful landscaping on the sides of houses and store-fronts...

An old kura (storage building) in an older neighbourhood on the north side of town.

The image of a tiny Shinto gate (a holy symbol) on the side of a wall--put there so that old men will think twice about peeing in the corner!

On Sunday morning we also hit a really amazing antique fair--here is a picture of some netsuke (which were authentic antiques and REALLY expensive).