Path of Philosophy:
Our guide from yesterday
we pick up tickets to see the Geisha Dancers in Gion (3pm) and to fill out
the morning we should try the Path of Philosophy. The path is an old
road (it might take a vehicle) next to a canal. The canal is pretty
much on the boundary between city and mountain so most of the canal is bounded
by natural vegetation.
The Path itself has all sorts of wonderful details. First, we were
lucky enough to be in Kyoto during the blossom season. Second, because
it was April, there weren't many tourists. Every so often we find a
artist drawing or painting a scene.
On the mountain side of the trail are many shrines and temples. At
this point in the trip we have already seen many temples and shrines, but
the details in these places is wonderful.
On the other side of the road are shops targeting western and Japanese
tourists. Most of the stores were traditional (small, ground level),
but we found this one Victorian style house - obviously catering to western
There were a few surprises in the Japanese stores. We found
a store that seemed to specialize in mobiles and other hanging things.
Near the end of the Path, we stopped in a more traditional store - a lighting
store. The lamps were reminiscent of a cool aisle in Ikea, but there
were many more varieties available.
Once we finished the path, we walked south toward Gion. We passed
through the two sloping streets - the Ninenzaka Slope and the Sannenzaka slope.
These neighborhoods had some of the highest student counts, and were lined
with galleries and more tourist oriented shop. One store of particular
interest was this cat store - it sold nothing but stores - thousands of them.
As we got closer to Gion, we noticed the shops were becoming more oriented
toward the Geisha. We saw several shops selling very expense shoes
and laquerware jewelery, and this fruit vendor selling melons for US $22.
The night before we bought tickets for the Miyako Odori - the spring festival
dance by the Geisha. It's shown in Gion Kobu Kaburenjo, the theatre
in the heart of the Geisha district of Gion. Finding the place was
a bit of challenge - we approached from the small lanes and it's not obvious
which walled off court yard belongs to the Theatre. A very helpful
dressed up woman gave us a pointer in the right direction.
The Production was amazing. The costumes were out of this world,
and the Geisha move without appearing to walk.
The production itself lasts about an hour and covers four seasons.
The sets are very complex - trap doors, moving scenes, multi-layer backgrounds,
very complex lighting. The music is all traditional on traditional instruments
and traditional scale (a little hard on my western ear until I got used to
After two days in Kyoto, we packed up for our day in Nara. The next
morning we went to Kyoto station and took a local train to Nara
Tags: Japan(21), shopping(5), costume(5), performance(4), cherry blossoms(3), road(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Trip to Japan > East Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > East Kyoto
From: John Harvey Photo > A Fourth Trip to Japan > Kyoto > East Kyoto
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:35:58 Edit
Copyright and Contact Information.