As I have said here before, one cannot spend too much time in Kyoto (or enough, for that matter). It’s not like we’ve seen all the sights worth seeing, but we’ve been there enough times that we feel we have the luxury of just strolling around aimlessly without feeling that we’re missing out on the big sights. And there are endlessly many charming corners to be discovered. Especially in the area all around Maryuama Park and from there until Kiyomizudera, one finds an almost perfect picture of traditional Japan. Just a little bit away from the main tourist routes, one can glimpse a quiet and enchanted old Japan in an almost fairytale-like fashion. Yet reminders that one is still in a modern world are nonetheless present. Electrical lines overhead, a car or motorcycle parked in a corner, a traffic sign – despite the obvious effort that is being made at preserving the original character of the neighborhood, they sneak into the picture. Destroyed illusion or a natural blend of old and new? Maybe without these signs of the modern world, these traditional neighborhoods would appear too artificial, more like a museum than a place where people are living. Yet I cannot help wanting to dive into this enchanted world which seems so calm and picturesque – at least for a little while. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll around Kyoto’s traditional neighborhoods off the main tourist track – it’s worth it!