Gion Hanna Stay

We bring the bikes back from Gingaku-ji to our hotel, Gion Hanna Stay. We’ve been gone all day and haven’t even seen what this place looks like yet. Counter Guy is gone and instead there is a super cute front desk girl working. We get checked in and Counter Cutie says our bags have already been moved up to the room. Her English is also fantastic. We thank her and head on up.

Whoa! This place is like our own little awesome apartment! There’s a full kitchen and laundry machine. Wth? This rocks. Glad we switched from the B. It’s like a high-tech mini apartment of our own in Kyoto. I grab a beer and take a tour.

Yep, there’s our bags by the laundry and toaster oven


Full kitchen, woot!



Two beds and a little living room area with a sofa (which I’m guessing is also a bed), tv and balcony.


Some confusing tech on the wall in the bathroom. What does this control? The shower?


And then out on the balcony we’ve got a great view of… a graveyard headstone depot?


Well that’s amazing. We’ve got an unexpected apartment in Kyoto for a couple of days.

Alright it’s dinner time. What would a physicist who also played on Loverboy’s second album eat in Kyoto? Tarokichi Yakisomething? We’re on the case…

We wave bye to Counter Cutie, exit Gion Hanna and head down to the Gion district where we think Mike’s suggested yakitori place is. Gion is a series of blocks in Kyoto known for it’s Geisha and traditional style Japanese houses. We walk down along the river towards it. The buildings along the river bank reflect an orange glow in the water. The walking path is separated from the road by a hedgerow and it’s a pleasant little stroll.

Come up on Tarokichi and it looks bombshell from the outside. Seems to be a quaint little izakaya type spot with a sliding door and the lanterns hanging out front. I slide open the door and a waft of nummy sizzled goodness slides passed my nose hairs. Yum! There’s a bar sitting area in front of the chefs and a few seated tables. A quick scan indicates that Mike was right about this spot. All sorts of skewered deliciousness.

A chef sees us enter from behind the grills, “Do you have a reservation?”, “Ahhhh, no”, “Oh sorry, we are full tonight”, “Oh ok, thank-you.” Well shit. That’s too bad, it looks amazing in there. Ok on to plan B. Flip on the bardar.

We walk through the Gion area and scan restaurants. This place is packed with people and there are actually lines outside most restaurants. I guess we’ve been too busy and have still learned nothing from our Israeli Pescatarian friends: Plan ahead, make reservations.

Some people here have rented fancy kimonos and have guides taking them around and describing the buildings and history to them. There are a few super touristy streets filled with nick-knack trinket shops ranging from cheap to insanely expensive art pieces.

We spot a Yayoi Kusama sign. She has an art exhibit at a museum here? We’ll have to check that out.

We also stumble upon a temple nestled into what seems like an alley. A few Geisha are there taking a gander.



And just down the street are some claw machines. This one is too cute for Queenie to pass up.



Ok well this area is crazy packed with people. Maybe we’d have more luck across the river near where our craft beer crawl was last night.

We head in that direction aaand… it’s crazy packed with people too. Soooo Kyoto is obviously a fairly popular spot. Still, we follow the throng across the bridge to see what options we have in this area.


We take a right out of the people sea and end up finding a cool area reminiscent of the Golden Gai alleys in Shinjuku. This is awesome. We walk up and down each little side street looking for a spot that suits our fancy.


Just across the street on the main road is a giant slot machine joint. wowsers.


Down another side street and we find an insane automated parking structure. Cars are stacked on shelves and an elevator mechanism on wheels retrieves them, retracts to the circular dial, rotates, and spits them out on demand. That’s crazy.



We zigzag back through the alleys once more and peek into some izakayas. These ones seem kinda full too. Wait is that a bar right on the street? It looks like a guy just flipped open a little window and is selling food and drink street side. Hmmmm… might have to go check that out.




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