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Stroll the Higashiyama Area Walk through Gion
The Tourist Information Center at Kyoto Station provides a Kyoto Walks guide (or download it from my website), outlining specific walking routes. My favorite was the Higashiyama Area walk that cuts through the shops, restaurants, temples and gardens of the Gion District, into Maruyama Park and terminating at the Heian Jingu Shrine. Exploring the Gion District is the best part of visiting Kyoto. Don't stick precisely to the Higashiyama Area walk: explore its capillaries for glimpses into upscale residential life. I read about Shijo Street frequently: it's significant but lacking in character. The clubs, restaurants and teahouses filling the blocks north of it are far more interesting. Geiko (geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) spotting is a popular pastime in the Gion District, but during the day you're more likely to spy young Japanese women dressing up as geiko for fun. What to Do in Kyoto for Fun:
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