Gion

Gion

This is Gion.    Gion is Kyoto's most famous Geisha District, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine and Kamo River. It is filled with shops, restaurants and teahouses, where Geiko (Kyoto dialect for Geisha) and Maiko (Geiko apprentices) entertain.  You may remember it as the scene of Arthur Golden's novel Memoirs of a Geisha about Mineko Iwasaki growing up in Gion first as a Maiko and then a Geiko.   It is a fantastic book that was adapted into a movie.   As always the book is better.  Walking through Gion you are quickly recognize key scenes from the book and movie. Kyoto is a very spiritual place with amazing history to see.    Kyoto hosts more than 1,800 temples and shrines and 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites.   This place is a paradise for photographers.  I can only imagine coming back through each season; spring blooming of the cherry blossoms, the explosion of color that comes with the autumn foliage and the white dust that comes with winter is like coming here for the first time again.

We headed down to Kyoto the very first day after Golden Week ended.  It turned out to the right timing as many of the places we went were absolutely empty as people returned back to Tokyo and Osaka for work.  It was great to have some temples and shrines empty that I only imagine are usually fairly crowded.   Everything was really green and there was a nice breeze making it just slightly cool.  Perfect for walking around taking photos.

I finished my scanning marathon this weekend of 15 rolls of film from my recent trip to Kyoto.   I ended up scanning 343 images that I am going through and carving up into posts on all of the different temples that I went to.   I went to a few out of the way places that I think will be very interesting to some of you.  This will be a massive exercise in self editing as I carve up and present what I hope are some great photographs of Kyoto.

Today's configuration:  Leica M6 with various Leica lenses shot on Kodak Ektar film.

Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto

Gion is littered with little alleyways and shops...

Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto

Every which way you look is another little alley.  I could have spend days exploring this area and plan to in the future...

Gion in Kyoto shot on Kodak Elmar 100 with a Leica M6
Gion in Kyoto shot on Kodak Elmar 100 with a Leica M6

Regardless of your nationality or status... so this means you!

Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto

If you are careful, attentive and a bit lucky...you can catch a glimpse of a Maiko or Geiko moving between Tea Houses...

Gion in Kyoto
Gion in Kyoto

I have a long queue of Kyoto images I'm putting up here.  I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoy taking and sharing them.   I was so excited seeing some of them coming off the scanner.   I made it to 14 temples, shrines and castles while in Kyoto.  I am very excited to make my way through the images and share them with you here.

Thanks for stopping by today...

Geisha in Gion

Geisha in Gion

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

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