Okay, it was late at night and it was drizzling when we decided to take a walk at Gion. In fact, it was the night of the same day that we went to Arashiyama and the Kyoto Railway Museum. So I guess you could say that my day had been full. Of course, I spent the morning with both Matthew and Judy in Arashiyama and then I spent the afternoon with Matthew in Kyoto. The night ended with me and the wife taking a stroll in Gion. By far the most productive day of my stay in Japan.
We didn’t get to see any Geisha. But we saw lots of bouncer type guys in full suits though. I guess that shows what kind of place the surrounding area of Gion is. We did feel safe while we were walking around, and the atmosphere in Gion has its own special aura. The air may have been cold and damp due to the rain, but it was nice just walking around the neighbourhood.
If my memory is correct, we were walking along Kawaramachi-Dori street that is lined with Pokemon themed street lamps. We just walked through alleys and streets trying to make our way to where Google Maps says “Gion”. And while it did not prove to be the most educational tour of Gion, we did manage to take in the atmosphere. The area around Kamo river is full of old school vibes combined with touches of the present. The cobbled street with Japanese lanterns are especially gorgeous at night. We were also trying to reach the Shirakawa area where the streets are lined with willow trees. I think we did, as we managed to walk through Shirakawa-Minami Dori on the way home. We were also surprised that we managed to find the entrance to Yasaka Shrine. A shrine that we visited the last time that we were in Kyoto back in 2013. It looked different in the morning but it is arguably better in the evening because of the quieter atmosphere.
Come to think of it, I would consider it a romantic stroll of Gion. We just walked, held each other’s hand and sat down for some coffee. All the while just talking and having a good time.