For many visitors of old Kyoto, the charm of the bright lights at Pontocho can be mesmerizing, so much so that you are more likely to bump into another traveler than Sayuri from the Geisha quarters. Instead, make your way south of Shijo to the cherry tree lined canal of Kiyamachi, which is a pleasant repose for strolling and cycling alike. In the Edo period, wooden boats on the Takase-gawa brought nature's harvest from the mountains, giving this street its namesake. After dark, take a seat by the window at Ryōri ya Otaya and watch the cherry petals float gently along the glistening stone lined canal.
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.