I adore these wooden houses. I love the colour of the wood and the architecture. I also love the small gardens and their ornaments,especially the water feautures. They seem to have a nack of making everyday settings look beautiful.
The only thing which surprised me about Gion is there are many strip clubs and brothels. I never read about that in my travel guides! We even saw a few girls on their way to work. I wanted to cry when I saw them. How awful for beautiful young girls to end up doing that for a living. I know there are such establishments all over the world, but still it made me sad to actually see these girls. I wonder, what were their dreams when they were little girls, do they have family, have they been educated??? As a mother, I find it devastating.
These are the restaurants along the river in Pontocho. I think they are all private entertaining rooms. I'd feel too intimidated to enter one. There are many restaurants I'd like to try, but as I can't read kanji, I have no idea what sort of eateries they are. I wish I had the courage to just go into one, especially one where you have to bow under the noren curtains.
So that's the end of our Gion expedition. I'd like to return one day and have a better look around.