Last Saturday I went to Kyoto in the evening with a couple friends. I’m not usually in Kyoto in the evening, especially not a weekend, so it was quite a fun experience. Let me tell you what we did and saw, all within 2 hours and 15 minutes of Keihan Sanjo station.
Immediately across the bridge and we saw performers setting up for the evening on the riverside under the bridge below Lawson’s. A 10 minute walk and dinner at the Hill of Tara Irish pub next to Kyoto City Hall on Oike Boulevard. Fish & Chips, meat pie and Guiness was a very ‘natsukashi’ (nostalgic) meal for my friends and I (although I passed on the beer).
Next, a walk down the Teramachi Shopping Arcade. Although all the shops were closed for the evening, many people were out and about in their finest fashion, and a lot of kids were enjoying the open space for break dancing, bmx-ing, skateboarding and so on. We watched for 20 minutes and even enjoyed chatting with the more fluent [in English] of the bmx-ers.
After this, a stroll back to the river, with a pit-stop for 500 yen Shwarmas and drinks. At the river we listened to live music, watched an acrobat perform under the bridge and even a fire-dancer! All of this was done for FREE (not including the price of food of course). So if you have an evening in Kyoto and are on a budget, walking between Sanjo and Shijo on either side of the river you will always find a plethora of free entertainment, and beautiful traditional Japanese life.
Edward, SSE Ohtsu