Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 53 of 111 › view all entries
July 11th, 2009 – by: AlexandraQuinton
The frequent bus service meant we were not waiting for long before the bus arrived. When you enter the bus, you take a ticket from the dispenser near the door and keep hold of it until you alight at your stop. There are announcements made telling you which stop is coming up, so as long as you know where you are going, it is a very easy system.
When you alight, you put the money in the box next to the driver and it will give you change (although it is best to have the exact fare - 220 Japanese Yen for adults, 110 for kids).
We alighted in Gion, the infamous geisha district, where we walked the other night. The area looked very different during the day;more commercial and touristy and not the quaint cultural area we felt we had discovered that evening.
Just next to the bus stop was a vendor selling tasty looking Japanese hot snacks called takoyaki. They looked like small sphere shaped yorkshire puddings or un-sugared doughnuts. I popped one in my mouth expecting a delicious filling only to be surprised by what I can only describe as feeling like I had just bitten into a bulging grub full of pus, which exploded into my mouth. Worse still was the chewy piece of squid in the middle. Fabien found them delicious, so I gladly handed them over to him.
We wandered through the Gion district in search of the beautiful ancient Kyoto we had imagined. It took a while to find it, but suddenly we found ourselves wandering down old streets with wooden houses featuring paper sliding doors and wooden beam embellishments. To make the Kyoto experience complete, I spotted a geisha in the distance. We hurried over to her and I asked if I may take a photograph, to which she graciously agreed. I thanked her and we continued on for a drink break by a bridge over a small stream.
After our hydration stop we continued on towards the Kamo-gawa, the Kamo River. There were families picnicing, children paddling and trying to catch fish and couples relaxing in the sun. It was a lovely warm day, so we decided to walk across the stepping stones (shaped like boats!) in the river so I could cool my feet down.
We continued onwards and found ourselves in another old district, which was pleasant. We came across a highly amusing squirrel type mannequin with huge... erm... nuts, which seems to feature quite prominently in Kyoto, although I'm still not sure what it represents.
As we explored further we noticed at the top of a hill was a beautiful looking temple.
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