Kyoto – Exploring Gion, more food and an observation of the day

Saved my visit to Gion – the hub of Kyoto to my last evening. The main streets are heaving with people but as soon as you dive down the side streets and then the side streets off the side streets you shake them off and it is also a good spot to find geishas appearing out of nowhere as dusk falls. I remember reading and loving Memoirs of a Geisha many years ago and always had an image pretty much like these of the alleyways that people walked through back then – doubt it has changed much. Full of charm and intrigue all at once.

Side Alleyways of Gion – magical as day turns to dusk

I remain mesmerized by all the amazing food I see everywhere  – whether it is on a street stall or, as below,  examples from the massive food halls in department stores such as Takashimaya or Isetan. There is so much of it and everything – and I mean every single item – is both fresh and beautifully displayed wherever you go.What I can’t understand is where it all goes as no-one here looks like they overeat and there’s so much of it and it is always fresh? I have come to the conclusion that the visitors from the West must be scarfing a lot of it down.

Food glorious food in Kyoto department stores.

OBSERVATION OF THE DAY  – Japan proves that tradition and modernity can sit side by side in harmony. From fan making to beautifully preserved buildings to extreme courtesy you can then jump to extreme fashion statements, cutesy gimmicks vending machines that sell hot and cold drinks and food in peel back opening cans and the latest hi-tech gimmick. Prepare to be constantly surprised – in a nice way. A few examples below including Hermes designed skateboards – Japan only.

Hermes skateboards, traditional fans and a restaurant giving a clear symbol of what it will serve.

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