Monday, 30 December 2013
TALE OF TWO CITIES
Kyoto, in many ways, feels like two cities. In Shijo-dori and Gion, a riverbank full of autumn trees and bicycles feels separated, in so many ways, from the gleaming towers of skyscrapers, beautiful lines of steel-coated architecture at Kyoto Station and the polished, brightly lit aisles of ISETAN from the modern skyscrapers.
The small overlaps you may see are in the lanterns of the pedestrian awnings or in the beautiful calligraphy decorating the walls of a shop inside the large shopping centres.
Start with the riverbank at sunset in Shijo-dori, at the mouth of Gion, and you may think we are in another Japanese drama - high school students stopping to play by the riverbank, giggling middle schoolers trying to grab onto a test paper that got blown from their folders by the wind, all highlighted in gold sunset, playing off the windows of surrounding buildings; step into small, quaint shops along the narrow walkways of Gion, curiously preserved in the past, and admire impeccably presented Western desserts that look too good to eat.
Then wander onto Kyoto station and you can hardly believe that this megaplex-sized lesson in geometry and shape and construction had been built before the old buildings crumbled into time, let alone existing within a few stops of the above. But it does. And what a wonderfully complex city these contradictions make Kyoto.
(☞ﾟ∀ﾟ)☞ JAPAN 2013 MASTERPOST