All posts tagged: Gion

Sundown in Kyoto

Even weeks after leaving Kyoto, it’s hard to believe that this place even exists. It is the ancient, cultural heart of this Land of the Rising Sun, and to paraphrase a Japanese gentleman I met in Tokyo, who was speaking about the Japanese bombings of World War II, “if they had have bombed central Kyoto, there would have been no coming back from that”. And after taking a wander through the age-old streets of Gion, it’s hard not to agree. To arrive in this city and embark on a sunset stroll along the Kamo-gawa (which translates as Wild Duck River), and over the Shijo-Ohashi (Shijo Bridge), where Japanese women dressed in summer kimonos called yakata are pausing along the railing to have their photos taken in front of the distant misty mountains, you feel that you have stepped, if not into the Middle Ages when Kyoto was established, certainly into another time and place. After continuing at dusk over the bridge into Shijo-dori, the main tourist street in town, I slowed to peer at art …