At first glance, Kyoto seems relatively modern, but as you travel further into the depths of the town, the quiet, hidden streets begin to unveil themselves. We decided to head towards the Gion district after hearing that it was notorious for spotting Geishas (or Geikos, locally). Stepping into a Japanese taxi to travel there felt quite surreal. I remember thinking that it looked very presidential. The old leather seats were shrouded in white lace and the passenger doors opened automatically. It had a dated yet regal feel to it. Unfortunately, we hardly saw any Geikos during our time there, we were wandering around during midday so perhaps it was just bad timing. I did, however, see quite a few ladies wearing kimonos – which is traditional formal wear in Japan. One of my favourite sights that day was seeing an older lady in a Kimono stepping onto the Shinkansen (or Bullet Train), for me, it epitomised
perfectly how well-intertwined old and modern Japanese culture are. You wouldn’t expect it to work, but it just does.
Despite the lack of wandering Geikos we enjoyed getting lost amongst the streets of Kyoto nonetheless. We eventually found some beautiful temples with stunning ancient art work on the walls inside. The ceilings were covered with intricate paintings, I can’t even imagine how long it must have taken to complete them. The whole atmosphere of the place had a very zen feel to it. For a while we just sat on the tatami mats, admiring the carefully tended gardens and soaking in the ambience of the place.