Kyoto: Nishiki market, Pontocho and the “Seine”

24 Feb

The first half of our first full day in Kyoto was spent booking bus tickets for Takayama. We walked from our machiya to the shopping street.

Wow, we spent like 1 hour waiting for the travel agencies to open and another 1.5 hours checking from agency to agency if they sell tickets for the bus we wanted. We ended up getting more expensive bus tickets because that was all they carried. Well, only 1 agency sold bus tickets and for just 1 bus line.  But all that waiting and walking around allowed us to explore the shopping streets of Kyoto. First stop, the Nishiki market.

It’s mostly food and things related to food like designer chopsticks and bento boxes. There are all sorts of pickles, fish (really cheap unagi), candies, pastries, 4000 yen melons. Think of something you’d want to eat in Japan and you’ll probably find it here. We weren’t able to take a lot of photos because we were too busy drooling over the food.

What surprised me is the small temple at the end of the street. It reminded me of going to mass in the middle of the mall in the Philippines. So is that an Asian thing?

Just another block or so from the end of Nishiki market is Pontocho.

The traditional district (more like street) for nightlife (read: geishas and tea houses). It was a nice street because of the cobble stones and of course its history. But nothing much to see here except for geishas going about their work and a lot of restaurants. There’s a kabuki theater here too.

Then we got some drinks for one of the numerous vending machines on the street and settled on the banks of  “the Seine” to people watch. We don’t know what the name of the river was so we just referred to it as  “the Seine”. Looked like other locals had the same idea as we did. We saw a lot of people with their bento boxes enjoying the sun and the river and just chilling out.

It was such a nice, relaxing morning in Kyoto. I still don’t know what the name of the river is but I love it to bits. We felt like tourists but also strangely at home. We felt like we’ve seen a lot but it was only the first part of the day.

If you’re planning on visiting Kyoto and have time in your hands, I definitely recommend this walk.

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One Response to “Kyoto: Nishiki market, Pontocho and the “Seine””

  1. Roy Wilke May 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    The river is the Kamo.

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