Alleys of Seattle

Kyoto day 1

Posted in Japan by seattlealleys on November 11, 2010

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After an interesting trip in the dark from kansai to kyoto and a semi direction less walk through turn of the century kyoto row houses, I was able to find my lodgings on the second floor of an old michayi house where tatami lines the floor and most doors slide in ways you couldn’t imagine at 3am when trying to locate the toilet.
I began my day walking through the nishiki market, a 5 block long alley of sorts that carries a colorful glass cap hung from a large truss that carries electrical along with structural services. This market has every kind of food imaginable from pickled goods to octopus head.

The next destination was the much anticipated pontocho street, a 10 foot wide pedestrian path that has housed shops, restaurants and the geisha quarter for hundreds of years. The old screened, and tiled roofs along here coalesce with modern neon signs hanging everywhere advertising the various places to eat that are tucked into every vacant space facing the street.

After walking the pontocho, I moved one block east to the refreshing kama, the cascading canal like river that splits kyoto east ave west. People gather on the bank to relax and enjoy the water.

After suvset, I walked the pontocho again studying the effect of the neon and lanterns on the tough facade surfaces. Also the presence of business people and tourists here after dark transforms it into a hustling and bustling space of the senses with the heightened ability to smell the cooking in trapped air, the sounds with the lack of traffic noise, and heat off backs of kitchens with the occasional gust off the river at a view point that breaks the street wall. Tomorrow, I will explore the gion quarter.

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