Kyoto I

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Here’s some photos of Kyoto. I have split the pictures up into sever­al entries. You can see more photos from Kyoto and other cities in the Japan category, and also read about the trip in the zine I wrote. While I was there I also met up with local zinester and research­er Kiyoshi Murakami (村上 潔), who kindly took me to some of his favour­ite places in the city:

Croix­ille book­shop– a second hand book­shop in an old house, with a lovely owner
HiFi Cafe– a cafe and record shop in anoth­er tradi­tion­al build­ing (with excel­lent coffee). It was strange to come all the way to Japan and hear Davey Graham play­ing on the stereo. Sadly I didn’t have any money to do record shop­ping with
Muraya Social Centre– cafe with zine collec­tion
Padma– deli­cious vegan food

Kyoto has a lot more old houses in the centre of the city than most other big cities in Japan. Kiyoshi told me that there’s a local scheme to find young tenants to live in houses that belong to old people who can’t keep them up or deal with the steep stairs any more, to stop the houses becom­ing derel­ict.


The banks of the Kamo river are nice to walk along.

There are a lot of locks, weirs and other ways to control the water level. Appar­ently in the rainy season the water gets very high. It didn’t rain at all when we were there in March.

I saw this heron begging for bread like a duck later. No dignity at all.

We visited the grounds of the old Imper­i­al Palace, but didn’t get to go in, as it was shut. Prob­ably the most gravel I’ve ever seen in one place.

Kyoto was the capit­al of Japan for nearly a thou­sand years. The Pillow Book of Sei Shon­agon (which I will give its own entry to later), the diary of a woman work­ing as a courtier in the Heian era around the year 1000, is a great guide to how people lived at the time. I also enjoyed this novel about the life of Mura­s­aki, anoth­er famous female writer of the time.

Sunset in the palace grounds.

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