Kyoto Japan Gion downtown Kiyomizu shopping
Most. Visitors to Kyoto are here to enjoy the, temples, gardens. And the historic, sights but, you'll also find that downtown. Kyoto, is very, appealing, it's, a busy modern, shopping area, that features, a couple, of major boulevards. Several. Large department, stores and smaller. Pedestrian. Only streets, and there's many blocks of boutiques and restaurants. Cafes. And, thousands. Of local residents filling. The sidewalk, downtown. Is a great spot for people-watching. Especially. Lively in the early evening when. The population has finished work and they're, out for a stroll and all their glory people. Loving travelers always find it worthwhile to delay. Dinner and, catch, the passing, stream of faces particularly, on the, busiest commercial, street, of shijou, dottie was, so interesting, to enter, this downtown. Modern. Situation. In contrast, with the old fashioned, peaceful, gardens here. You might even see the elusive, geisha as she. Scurries, to her next appointment sometimes. She's a trainee, called, Maiko. These are, well, trained ladies, schooled. In the arts of conversation. And culture, music. And dance performance, we'll, see more in a moment near. The osika, shrine in, kyoto, you'll find the, most famous downtown. Historic, neighborhood, Guillaume, the, neighborhood of the Geisha or as they say in Kyoto, the gay cold and the, little side streets, are where you want to venture to. See the, really charming, part of old Kyoto. She. Is not a Geisha but our waitress, in a restaurant in, a traditional, outfit and very. Soon we'll be seeing a few geisha although. In Kyoto. They're called Keiko, so. Actually in this city there are no geisha, but. For, this program we'll refer, to them as geisha, because, that's how they're widely known, kyon. Is located. Between, the Kama River and yasaka. Shrine with, chiju Dori and hanami, koji as the, primary streets. That you want to spend some time at here. You'll find, architectural. Mix of simple, wooden buildings and historic, structures. Later. In this segment we'll also bring you into the more modern downtown. This is hanami, koji, the main side, street, in gion, or are you most likely to run into some geisha keep, in mind you want to be polite, and considerate, when. You see a Geisha, don't, try and stop, them and ask them to pose for photos, or selfies, these. Are busy people they're working they're going from one restaurant to, another, to meet their, next party and they really don't have time to stop, for every tourist and pose for pictures but, you can certainly watch, them walk by a, classic. Beauty, of the Geisha Jeon, is a, very popular, neighborhood. For the visitor to go take a stroll and find, some geisha and yes, you will see them with some patience, but. More often what you're seeing are, Michael, which are apprentice. Geisha they. Look nearly identical to, the Geisha except. Sometimes, there is a red collar that. Gives them away it. Takes several years of, training for, a Maiko, to become, a full-fledged, geisha, or. Again as they're called in Kyoto, Keiko, notice. How pleased the Japanese, tourists, are to see, these beauties, it's. Unlikely you'll get into a, club, where the authentic. Geisha work for it's very expensive and there's a language barrier and, foreigners, are discouraged, the, tea houses in the neighborhood often. Only, allow in their regular, customers or, invited. Guests, of course there are many excellent, restaurants. In the neighborhood open, to all serving, fine Japanese. Cuisine, on, this, east side of downtown you, can explore.
Fascinating. Narrow lanes lined, with traditional, wooden facades, of the historic. Gion, district, especially, along, hanami, koji Street and adjacent, side lanes. Be. Sure, to walk a couple of blocks north, from here to. Shimbashi and, there, you will find perhaps. The most beautiful canal, and all of Kyoto, two. Blocks away from that busy modern street you enter another, world stepping. Back to a, more quiet and peaceful, time, the. Canal only extends, for about a hundred meters so, it's very easy to stroll. Along it it's a pedestrian zone walk. From one end to the other and then return, the same way charming. Little restaurants, some with outdoor seating are lined. Up along the canal and there. Are a few tiny hotels, the ryokan, it's, so peaceful there was a heron, just standing, in the canal perhaps waiting, for his dinner to float by. The. Light at Twilight is really spectacular. As, you can see so it's always a great idea to. Postpone, your dinner until it actually gets dark, and take advantage of the Twilight, it's a lovely hour, in which you can be walking around and, enjoying the. Combination. Of the fluorescent, lights that have come on the shop lights and the, background, illumination up, in the skies and do a little shopping perhaps. You. Definitely want to explore as, much as you can as much as you have time and take a wander in, those little side streets, both north and south. Of shijou, Dougherty which, is the main commercial, street running through, Kyoto here. You'll find some busy restaurants, many of them with open shop fronts, and quick. Food to go this, is Japanese fast, food high-quality. And delicious, you'll, be delighted by the reasonable. Prices, to shijou. Daughter gets wider and busier, as it reaches the western end of Gihon and prepares, to head right through the middle of downtown at. This. End of Peel you'll find the famous Minami. The theater. For, kabuki, shows the. Classical. Japanese, dance and drama performances. That originated. In the early 1600s. And, continued. Right up through today this. Theater was actually, founded, here, in the year 1610. The, structure. We see today, was rebuilt, in the old style back in 1929. It has a festive. Appearance, with the gable roof turrets. Lighting. And big, lanterns, out front, it definitely attracts, attention and, the, performances, today are sometimes, geared for the visitor where, there will be highlights, of several, different, kabuki shows presented. In a two hour period. We. Continued a couple, blocks west across. The Kama, River to, the busy intersection with. Karora, machi Dori which is the real crossroads, the, commercial, center of downtown, modern, Kyoto. There. Are several big department, stores here, there's, a real hustle, and bustle and. Ebb, and flow of lots. Of young people out shopping, in the evening. The. Primary. Commercial. Street here, is she Joe Donny and it's always very busy full of shops and pedestrians. And there's, a lot of cars a lot of traffic going by will. Show you more of this in a few minutes including, covered, shopping mall but it's kind of nice to get away from the busy street, and into the side lanes be. Sure to also walk, a few blocks north along, kia, machi to, reach the charming, little, canal that winds, its way above and below shijou Dori quite, similar, to that lovely canal, we saw earlier running through kiyong, this. Canal, is a little bit longer a little wider and has, even more restaurants, and attractive, buildings that make, it very much worth, walking, along. It's. Amazing, how quickly the, atmosphere, changes, from the busy hustle, bustle of downtown as, you step one, block into. This quaint historic. District, it's, like, you're visiting Japan of, 200, years ago it's. A charming neighborhood that, you certainly don't, want to miss. This. Historic. Zone extends. For several blocks, flanking. The Kama River especially. Along pontocho, Dori. Pleasant. And very famous narrow, pedestrian, Lane, of more, bars and restaurants, you'll, find some true shops. Tucked away selling, lacquerware and, chopsticks, and fans and, other, local, items here. Too in the high season, you're gonna run into crowds. Of, tourists, enjoying, the same sight that you are but, on a December. Evening you can have it practically, all to yourself, however, avoid, the sleazy, red-light, district, to another block, west and bright with garish, neon.
Well. Now we're back on the main busy. Commercial shopping, street, shijou. Dottie and you, see how active it is everybody. Is out it's about 6-7, p.m. chops. Are open all the lights are on and they. Have some very wide, sidewalks, here it makes it quite friendly for the pedestrian, you. Have some covered. Sheltered, areas, to, protect you from the weather and there. Are even some side. Streets that, are for pedestrian, only you'll. Find, locals are friendly even. If they don't speak English. These. Two parallel, shopping. Arcades, are called Shing Kyogoku. And tada, machi, it's, terrific, how they've just covered, a street and converted. This into a. Wonderful, pedestrian. Promenade. Even. In the middle of the shopping mall they've got some. Shrines. We. Found another vegetarian. Restaurant, this is called Bo Tay they, can in obscure. Little location. That was a little hard to find but, we persevered, we, asked around the neighborhood, and sure. Enough we found it on the street corner now we're going to reverse direction, and, take you back to the eastern. End, of shijou, Dottie to the yasaka, shrine a, visit. Here can help bring you health, and prosperity. Yes. Ago ginger is a Shinto. Shrine which. Includes. Several, buildings, with gates a main hall and a stage and right, behind it you'll find maruyama. Park which, we have featured in yet, another movie about kyoto, of course. It's all very safe in the evening to Walker, in the temple grounds, with the beautiful, lighting a nice, time to be here our. Hotel. Was located near, the main. Kyoto, train station, which, would have been very easy to walk, from this neighborhood it's, less than a mile through, some lively, city streets but, instead we decided to, take the metro it's. An easy couple, of stops on the subway and we're, there in a few minutes of course. Kyoto, station is, a large modern, facility. There's lots of shops there's, beautiful architecture. And it's. Very much in the center of downtown so. It's a great convenient, location, with, several hotels right, nearby, so. Nine stories, high there's a sky walk up above you can during. The day get a nice view looking out over the city the.
Kyoto, Tower is just a block away from the station, it's, 100. Meters high with observation. Deck at the top and, a hotel at the bottom. Back. To our hotel it's the new Miyako hotel, located, just, next to the Kyoto train, station. Very. Convenient, location, and a nice place this. Was arranged, for us actually by jtv, which is the main, tour operator, in Japan, and it. Was very pleasing, accommodations. Very traditional, the hotel, has a thousand. Rooms and, yet when you're having breakfast, it's all very peaceful. And we ran into this interesting, local, scene in the lobby two. Guests, and beautiful, traditional, kimono and then. We noticed their friends are all dressed up too getting ready for some, kind of festivity, it turns, out. Local. Gals getting married. American. Pie. Spoke. Very good English, apparently. She lived. In America, met. This fellow and then brought him back to meet the family, and have. A wedding. Japanese-style, in, the. Full kimono, outfits. You. Really don't see many, kimonos, out on the streets typically, as you walk around in, the, modern cities of, course most fashions. That you do see are typically. Modern, with trends. Changing, from one year to the next, especially. In Japan a uniform, culture, conforming. To the trend and coming. Up shortly in the program we're gonna show you a lot more street scenes of people walking by you can see for yourself. Kiyomizu. Geta is the most popular, temple, in all. Of kyoto, and it's. Usually, crowded often. With lots of tour groups, this. Video, was photographed, in the offseason. Which, was the, first week of December and. Even then it was fairly busy comfortable. Nice, to have some other people around so no. Problem, but if you're here, in the peak season during, the summer in the, middle of the day there'll, be so many people you'll. Have a hard time getting to the railing to enjoy a clear, view of the beautiful scenery. The. Main hall is the most spectacular, single. Item here is up on large wooden, stilts and, designated. As a national. Treasure. Large. Verandas, and main, halls like this were constructed. At many popular. Sites in the past to accommodate. Large numbers, of pilgrims and, then. We have the views looking out across, from, the main hall, into. Downtown, looking. Out towards the temple which is upon. The hillside, an. Old tradition, held that if you could survive, 13. Meter jump from this stage your, wish would be granted over. 200 people jumped, and most of them survived but that practice, is now prohibited you. Can also buy a good luck charms, at various kiosks, here. And omikuji. Which are they paper fortunes, and incense. And various, other talismans. Shoppers. Will be kept quite busy at the various kiosks, and you can also get a bite to eat at some of the food stands the. Word kiyomizu. Means clear water or pure, water the. Ottawa, waterfall, runs off the nearby hills, in three, channels, of water that fall into a fountain and then visitors can catch, and drink the water which is believed to have wish-granting, powers. And, it's said that you will gain health, longevity. And success, in studies, by drinking, from the three different streams. These. Typical, incense, burners, offer a smoke. That's, designed, to chase, away the evil spirits. The. Temple, is actually. So old that it predates. Kyoto. Itself, it dates back to the 700s before kyoto was founded, as a city. Of course, the structures have been rebuilt. Numerous, times since then there. Are some, 30 buildings here, on the, temple, grounds, and most were constructed.
In The early Edo period the. Early 1630s. And. The different altars and shrines. Within, the temple, grounds, images. Of the Buddha here and there there's. A Shinto shrine just, as, part, of the, temple complex as you often find here the Buddhist and the Shinto. Blended. Together. The. Two religions. Harmoniously. Coexisting. In Japan. Kiyomizu-dera. Has, something, for everyone. First, of all it's an important, religious, site where serious, pilgrims, come to pray young. People come looking for good fortune, visitors. Arrived, to see the sights history buffs have much to admire, choppers. Are made, happy by vendors, and all. Fall, under the spell of Kyoto's, most popular, temple. During. The busy seasons, this temple, gets extremely. Crowded with, the tour, groups they come by the busloads about, generally, early December, is a wonderful, time to be touring. The temples, of Kyoto, it's. Just not very crowded there's. A monk. Waiting. To receive some offerings, for, the rest of this segment we have a different, focus we're, going shopping on a, very quaint, and historic. Series, of lanes just, in front of Kyoto's. Most popular, temple, there, are some small shops inside, the temple but the main action for shopping, is outside, on the pedestrian Lane, leading. Up to the temple as you, find typically, throughout, Japan, a main temple, has, a, shopping, street leading, to it something. Like the inevitable, gift shop at the exit of a museum a. Similar. Shopping, arrangement, like this has, been around for, hundreds of years originally, set, up to supply, the pilgrims. Who are coming to the temples and now it's to, sell trinkets to tourists, and offer, some, high-quality goods as will be showing you, when. You arrive, here you could start out with some shopping, or of, course you could go into the temple first and then save your shopping, for later it just depends, on your schedule and, the timing, and your preference, the shops. Are generally, opened between, 10, a.m. and. 4, p.m. or, 5 p.m. a, typical. Visitor, to kiyomizu, would arrive by taxi, and the. Taxi will, drop you off at one end of the shopping, Lane it's a pedestrian Lane you. Can walk straight up this Lane to the temple and along, the way you'll see ceramic, shops and there's food stores you can get some free samples of, noodles and other good treats. But. Here's a tip you also, want to get on to the side street which is even more interesting. Sannen. Sokka, which becomes, noonan Sokka the. Most famous historic. Shopping, street in kyoto. But. You could easily miss it if you don't take that turn off the main lane and go down that fleet of steps which will lead you into, this wonderful historic, zone. You. Can see you want to have good walking shoes for this slightly, irregular, flagstone. Pavement. But. This neighborhood around the temples is not modern at all you see here one, of the older streets of town now with, the old classic. Wooden facades, all along, it with, traditional shops, and restaurants. Tea, houses, snack. Bars. Really. Makes for a lovely. Walk. Our. Timing. For this visit was perfect, because, it was not crowded, we're. Here in early December, which, is definitely the offseason. And it's. A weekday so, really there were not too many people around. On. The other hand if you come in the summer it can get very crowded, that's, one of the main comments, you'll run into on TripAdvisor, people.
Saying Oh it was gridlock, with bodies I couldn't move of course, the majority of comments, that travellers have about the street are really, favorable people, are just blown away by how beautiful it is how, nice the shops are and just, generally, how pleasant this atmosphere, is it. Looks like it's some kind of a movie set but you're actually here, walking, through it in real time. Another. Of the, tea, gardens, this is a commercial. Garden attached, to a restaurant, there. Are a few restaurants, along Sun and czaka but of course this is a touristic, place, so, you'd, be better off eating, a meal and the downtown area instead but, you cannot, beat this atmosphere, you'll. Find the vendors, are quite friendly and many of them speak a little English. You, can pick from variety. Of Japan, made Goods there's, fans, and, bags and wallets. Ceramics. Lacquer. Dishes, and. Some. Side, staircases, there's, a residential, neighborhood, right, behind these shop fronts, ceramics. Are one of the very popular, items for sale here and they are made not, only in Japan but a lot of it is made right in the Kyoto area it's as local specialty, of. Course, you'll find all of the typical items. For sale fans. Trinkets. Miniature. Samurai, figures, and figurines, you can buy handbags, and purses. Made from kimono, material, for. Her HAP's a Japanese. Print or painting, to hang on your wall but. Some careful shoppers, have noticed, the prices, on these, touristic. Lanes, are a little higher than, you'll find in, downtown, and the, selection is pretty much the same everywhere so. Keep that in mind but when you're shopping if you see something, you love just, get it you. Might never find it again. And. Here. You might see what. Looks like some geisha, in. Traditional. Costume, or, perhaps. Michel the geisha in training. But. No actually, these are Japanese. Tourists, it's. A tradition, here among some younger. Ladies to get. Dressed up like Michel and you. Pay about $70. $80. To one. Of the several costume. Shops in the area here and so. If you see geisha looking, ladies, carrying, around their digital cameras, and taking, pictures of each other well they're, not really, geisha they're tourists, out having fun for the day you. Can also hire. A rickshaw, driver, who will take them around in the district, and take their photograph for them tell them some about the history, of the area. We'll show you a little more of that at the end of this segment, we've. Left the little lane of Sun and czaka and return to that main shopping lane that leads up to the temple called, kiyomizu, Sokka it's. A little busier up here, the. Shops, love to hand out free, food samples perhaps. A cup of tea to, entice, you to stop, and look at the merchandise, so. This street is just a perfect spot for strolling. And, hanging. Out you can sit, down on a bench and just watch the parade of people go by if you like let's. Have a look at another shopping, lane this one is out in front of ginkakuji, temple. We've. Shown you this wonderful ginkakuji. Earlier, in a different episode which. Included, a nice long walk in the zen temple, garden now we're going to show you the shops, out front. It's. No surprise, that the. Shops so long this temple, shopping, street are really, quite similar to, what you find in, the other temple, areas and in, fact what you find scattered around downtown so, we're just having a quick look and, especially. Enjoying, some, of the food, possibilities. Here are the free samples, the, chocolates.
The Rice cakes the tea all sorts of goodies it. Seems, like some, of the merchants, speak a little bit of English but it's, really kind of hard to tell you'll see something and they'll, smile and nod back but it's, the language of food and gesture, nice. Rice. Cake with, sesame. Some, have sesame. Sesame. Smells. Good rice. Cracker. What. Do you got, easy. Access any stability. Is. That green tea. No. Okay, you, cannot, resist such, a friendly. And polite offer, so, go ahead and help yourself for. Many visitors the shopping, is more appealing than the temple that they've come to visit you. Can see it's a fun diversion on, your way up to the temple to shop. Along the way to ginkakuji. But. Really the shopping. Lane over, by kiyomizu-dera. Is, hard to beat so we're gonna take you back over there now and just. Cut you loose for the next few minutes for the rest of the program to. Let you enjoy the visuals. While, we play a little bit of music and, show you more of these wonderful shops. This. Is part of our series on the temples and, gardens of Eastern Kyoto. The Higashiyama, district. Be. Sure to look for them in our collection. Got. It so far. We. Have more movies about Kyoto and, many other parts of the world that you can find in our collection.