To the west of the city’s heart lies Senbon Dori. Like most of Kyoto’s major streets it runs from one end of the city grid to the other – in this case North to South. It is the main vein of an area rarely visited by tourists – unless they happen to be passing through to one of the nearby temples or shrines such as Kitano Tenmangu or Kinkakuji. It’s a little grungy in parts, daggy if you like. Old-school charm; traditional food shops, bric-a-brac, plastic slippers, electricals, hand-woven silk scarves and delicate sweets – it’s all here but in no sense of order to speak of. There’s just something about this edge of town that feels homely – and with that comes both the feeling of welcome and the cold stares of “what the hell are you doing here in our hood”. It’s not so much of a question as a statement. I’ll take the good with the not so comfy. The area is like a country town within a city and from time to time I just like to wander around stirring up the dust.
Fancy a walk with me on a hot summer’s day?
Bicycles, architecture, obaachan, temples, Kombu, chemists and tomatoes… Keep an eye out for the Tanabata Festival decorations hand made by the local children….
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