After returning from the country we went for a walk through ‘downtown’ Kyoto. We started at the Kamo river, where we found numerous couples sitting on the river bank enjoying the view and cooling effect of the water. Being a couple seemed to be a rule, and we were a group of three so instead we explored Pontocho, which is a very narrow street in Kyoto’s traditional nightlife district, one block west of the river.
Apparently one might be able to spot a geisha in this narrow alley, but all we spotted were super high prices for dinner with a view of the river. So we decided to walk to Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, in hopes of spotting a geisha or maiko. But all we spotted were other tourists, deserted streets and some drawings of geishas from behind.
It was a bit disappointing and our Dutch tourist didn’t seem too impressed with Kyoto so far, so I felt we needed to take him somewhere a little more exciting. So I returned to nearby Yasaka jinja, a.k.a. Gion Shrine, which I had found to be very beautiful last week and very interesting to look at from a foreign point of view. The shrine was even more striking in daylight than at night, and even though I’m not sure whether Jeroen was captivated by all the lovely old Japanese building on display, I believed it was a wonderful ending to our sightseeing in Kyoto.
It was time for dinner, but none of us was really hungry (I still blame the heat) so we decided to take the rather long train ride back to Osaka hoping we would arrive there hungry and ready to eat. Jeroen’s last Japanese dinner turned out to be a McDonalds meal, kind of because we still weren’t very hungry and we needed to be quick as we were going to see a movie. By the way, the movie we saw ‘What Happens In Vegas’ was totally hilarious and definitely the best movie I’ve seen for a while.