There is a certain kind of grace and charm about Kyoto that is hard to dispute.
It’s in the willowy trees that line the pavements and roads. Their crowns remain bare for March, and if you look too hard and long, that tint of pink you thought you caught a moment ago will escape you.
It’s in the little potted plants of brightly-coloured flowers that most households decorate their doorsteps and window sills with. And it’s in the lovely vintage-looking bicycles that lean lightly under the windows.
It’s in the quiet and calm that guards the street where we stayed, just around the corner from Kiyomizu-gojo station, exit 5 (or 4). The more subdued end of Gion, with mostly traditional-looking homes interspersed with a couple of guesthouses here and there, and street lamps that send a soft yellow glow down the street at nightfall.
It’s in the mannerisms and smiles of the people, notably the pretty young local girl – who understood a bit of English – and two elderly ladies – who knew none at all – that led us to our guesthouse in their own ways. Language is no barrier, they proved.
It’s in the way the traditional and the modern come together in a beautiful mix, yet retain their own rightful characteristics.
There is something so poetic about Kyoto that it causes a little ache thinking about it from miles and miles away.
On the street where we lived.
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