Thursday, 19 June 2014


祇園 . 교토시의 기온 . 京都祗园

From Kinkakuji, we took Bus 59 back to Shijo-dori 四条通り for dinner at the Daimaru Family Foodcourt 大丸ファミリー食堂 on Level 8.
Mom said Daimaru used to be in Singapore

Order and pay first before being seated inside
Grandma's agesoba あげそば / stir-fried noodles 874円
Mom and I shared a "Adult-Kid Lunch 大人こどもランチ" set 1183円
Busy Shijo-dori

     Address:    〒600-8511 京都市下京区四条通高倉西入立売西町79番地
     Tel:           075‐288‐6921
     Directions: Click
here to see the options
     Opening Hours:  11am - 8pm

After dinner, we took a 15-min bus ride to Gion 祇園, and Mom said I should look out for a maiko 舞子 or geiko 芸子 at Hanamikoji 花見小路, who can often be seen there. Although Mom explained to me what a maiko 舞子 or geiko 芸子 were, I don't really get it.
Buses 31, 46, 201, 202, 203, 206 stop at Bus Stop C,
which is along Higashioji-dori 東大路通り, opposite the Yasaka Shrine 八坂神社
Yasaka Shrine 八坂神社
Lawson the convenience store that looks like a traditional Japanese house on the outside
Shijo-dori 四条通り, and a lot of the shops were closed around 6.30pm
Spot Yojiya よーじや, and it means Hanamikoji Street 花見小路 is near
Flashlight's too bright!
The prestigious and historical Teahouse Ichirikitei お茶屋 一力亭
Courtyard of Teahouse Ichirikitei お茶屋 一力亭

Shops with the lights on brightly were usually the restaurants

Peeking in

Another teahouse, and stated so in the small black sign

The teahouse that the maiko/geiko hurried into
I was getting tired, and we continued walking along Shijo-dori 四条通り towards the main shopping district between Gionshijo Station 祇園四条駅 and Kawaramachi Station 河原町駅. I had supper before we took a bus back to the hotel.
Passing by the famous Kabuki 歌舞伎 theatre Minamiza 南座
Leaving historic Gion behind ...
... towards modern restaurants and shops
The unique and interesting Peking restaurant Tohkasaikan 東華菜館 near the bridge
Crossed the Shijo Bridge 四条大橋
What the bridge looked like earlier this evening
McDonald's = my supper

After we showered (and Grandma also went to the hotel onsen), we had free supper at the hotel - Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto Ekimae ドーミーインPREMIUM京都駅前.
Free ramen supper for hotel guests from 9-11pm
Argh! Grandma had me eat one bowl too!

     Address:    〒600-8216京都府京都市下京区東塩小路町558-8
     Tel:           (81) 75-371-5489
     Directions: 3-min walk from JR Kyoto Station 京都駅 Chuo Exit 中央出口
Mom's Notes
  • We would have loved to get a nice traditional Japanese dinner at Gion, but some of the places that I've found online seemed hard to locate or were very expensive. Hence, having dinner in the main shopping district where there would be plenty of food options seemed a better idea
  • There were a few people in kimonos walking around, but I don't think they were locals. Nevertheless, it made for an unique way to visit Kyoto
  • I wasn't sure what to expect at Hanamikoji 花見小路, and it turned out to be a dimly-lit and quiet street that were full of tourists instead. We caught sight of 2 geikos/maikos, and I felt very conflicted about taking a photo of them because it was actually impolite to do so without asking for permission first. However, seeing that they were fleeing from us tourists, I reluctantly snapped 1 blurry photo of one of them. Apparently, they will arrive for their engagements in the taxis, so don't expect to bump into them along the street at night
  • Check out the Japanese webpages on what goes on at Teahouse Ichirikitei, how to secure a visit to a teahouse, one agency that I happened to see online that organises a dinner with a maiko (note that the Kyoto Tourist Centre has brochures for other companies that organise them; expect to pay at least 40,000円 per person), and one tourist-y maiko event
  • Consider exploring the Shirakawa 白川 Area, besides the Kamogawa 鴨川River, which is more scenic and less touristy, according to some travel guides
  • The hotel was a great value for money - rooms were comfortable, location was super, free WIFI, there was an onsen, and the free steaming bowl of ramen for supper (I think they allow for seconds) was a balm for fatigue from a long day of walking. Plus, free coffee was provided in the lobby for all guests in the morning!
      Click through to find out how to get to Gion, and see the shopping map of Gion.

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