The rain stopped after 3 hours, but I certainly enjoyed strolling around Kyoto station and doing a little shopping. Now the skies were clear, so we set off on foot to our accommodation, "The Sparkling Dolphins Inn" Of course, when you step out of the station the landscape is urban, but the traditional part of Kyoto is not far away. I immediately noticed the architecture in Kyoto is alot more traditional than in Tokyo. Our lodgings were just south of the station, in what I would call a working class part of town - just some ordinary shops catering to everyday needs, but with the odd little cute cafe or quirky looking house here and there.
We were greeted by the owners of the inn; a lovely family of 3 generations. I had chosen the family room, which consisted of tatami mat and futons, plus a private (teeny tiny) bathroom and toilet. There was also another Australian school group staying here.
After checking in, we caught a train from Kujo station up to Shijo Dori, which is known as downtown Kyoto. We got a little lost when we emerged from the subway, but once again, as if by magic, a bilingual gentleman came to our aid and pointed us in the right direction. Japanese people are so kind towards foreigners, which I experienced time and time again during this trip and our last trip.
Shijo Dori is home to major department stores such as Takashimaya and Daimaru, but unfortunately there was not enough time to visit.
A stylish book store.
We walked up to the famous covered shopping arcades, Teramachi and Shinkyogoku. Apparently the famous Nishiki Market is in this vicinity also, but no time for that either! Along the way, I noticed a fabric shop with my special fabric/craft shop radar that is built into my neurological navigation system, and made a mental note to self. Also in Teramachi Aracde I spotted a Parts Club bead shop, but I never got there...boo!
Teramachi arcade seemed to go on forever. We only walked up part of the way.
A beautiful kimono shop.
We needed to have dinner and we decided to try something completely different; a funky little organic restaurant on top of a second hand clothing store. I loved the way all the tables and chairs were mismatched. It had a very homely feel to it. Also attached was a cute little zakka shop- what more could I ask for?
After dinner, we found a green tea ice cream shop. Everything in Kyoto seems to be associated with green tea. They love it, and so do I. As most shops were now closing for the night, we headed off in search of Gion.