July 24, 2013

Gion, Kyoto

Graced with colored lights and at the confluence of the Shirakawa and Kamo rivers, the medieval Geisha district rolls on as it has for centuries, where wooden machiya hosting traditional tea houses, haute cuisine kaiseki-ryōri and maiko in-training have entertained samurai and now businessmen.

Richly decorated and frozen in time, Gion is a living museum. Every detail has been preserved from turn of the century postboxes to the cobbled streets and red lanterns. Were it not for the roaring taxis and flash photography, one would be instantly transported to a Japan of old. If you’re lucky, you may even glimpse a Maiko or Geisha in full regalia, rushing to her next appointment. As fabled as a unicorn, their presence renders audible gasps from onlookers around. Just don’t use flash photography and you may get yourself a snap of Japan’s most famous profession, beyond the salaryman.

The Japanese have long held the tradition of entertaining guests outside the house, so if you’re looking for a tea ceremony, an excellent meal with local delecacies, hewn from seasonal produce, or even entertainment from a Geisha, then Gion is the place to live-out your Memoirs of a Geisha/Anime/Japanophile fantasies.
So get over here and sake-to-me, baby.
Mark and Millie

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Listening to: Downton Abbey Suite: Did I Made the Most of Loving You? by John Lunn
       Loving: Bali
            =(: none!

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