After a day of sightseeing all over Kyoto, I was really close to just calling it a day and passing out in my hotel room. But after a shower and something to eat, I decided I really wanted to see some of the old areas of town while my day-long bus pass was still active. I got on a cross-town bus and made my way to Pontocho and Gion.
Most people have heard of these areas of Kyoto, even if you know almost nothing about the city. This is where the geisha/geiko do most of their entertaining! Pontocho is well-known for its alley of restaurants and Gion is where most of the tea houses are located.
I would go into all the history of the place, but you can get that pretty much anywhere online. Instead, I’m going to treat you to some photos!
The Kamo River, which runs north to south between Pontocho and Gion, is lined with the restaurants of Pontocho. It looks so enchanting at night.
This is the narrow Pontocho corridor. So many people were out! It was a Saturday night, after all. Everyone was looking in the windows and at the menus, trying to decide where to eat. Look at this couple up front, holding hands and laughing. I wonder where they ate that night?
Down these side alleys, people waited for tables or the restaurants waited patiently for their customers to arrive.
The Gion area had all of these little shrines on corners or tucked away between buildings.
And by the time the sun set, everything just became a hundred times more beautiful.
I’m glad I left the comfort of my hotel room that night to do a little exploring. I often think back on that evening when I need a little peace and tranquility. Hopefully the images will inspire lots of daydreams as you read my books!