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Japan Kyoto Shopping Street Mapo Tofu

26 October 2016

They actually finished one

Kyoto has been completed.
There is nothing under construction. Last time I was here everything was, including the big temple near the station, the station itself, the shops in under and behind the station and various other things were in a state of 'grand renew coming soon'.
Now everything is ready for Tokyo 2020! Except Kyoto is not in Tokyo.
I think Kyoto might be the best city for a middle aged solo non drinking traveller who enjoys walking around but not buying things and eating cheap meals anywhere in the world.
It rained a little bit this evening, but it was timed for my arrival to the main street that goes up to Gion which has coverings for rain / snow / sun above the footpath. It was very busy here during the rainy period and I saw lots and lots of older tourists, and as a result, ambulances!

I really do think some old people on tours attempted running across the road and either had heart attacks or fell over and broke hips. Ambulances were scooping them up and applying oxygen face masks left right and centre.
Then I saw someone tumble down the stairs into a subway and spring back to their feet without breaking stride, I thought they would have been badly injured, perhaps they were, but 'face' is more important than a broken leg. Walk it off.
There are of course pros and cons to a city that exists to make tourists happy. Tour groups, school groups, and slow walkers. Slow walkers holding hands 3 and even 4 abreast are the worst. Its the height of all rudeness. I walked straight through one group of 3 doing this and they were angered by my antics. My other option was to go on the road and get hit by a bus.

Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - The completed station with ominous clouds approaching.

The completed station with ominous clouds approaching.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - The completed temple with gold highlights and no scaffolding.

The completed temple with gold highlights and no scaffolding.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - The completed Kyoto tower that has always been completed and is useless because the roof observation area on the Isetan store above the station over t

The completed Kyoto tower that has always been completed and is useless because the roof observation area on the Isetan store above the station over the road is now higher than the tower, and free.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - You know you have hit peak tourist when there are shops selling fans and only fans.

You know you have hit peak tourist when there are shops selling fans and only fans.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - I was relieved to get to here during the heaviest of the brief rain. I ran, it was scary due to umbrellas and short people.

I was relieved to get to here during the heaviest of the brief rain. I ran, it was scary due to umbrellas and short people.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Male / female / other? I thought it was Justin Bieber. Its a glasses shop. I still dont know the answer to my own question.

Male / female / other? I thought it was Justin Bieber. Its a glasses shop. I still dont know the answer to my own question.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - The most terrifying combo of all is someone riding a bike holding an umbrella.

The most terrifying combo of all is someone riding a bike holding an umbrella.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - The complex of covered shopping areas called Teramichi or similar and the other one or two whos names I forget are still long, bright and busy.

The complex of covered shopping areas called Teramichi or similar and the other one or two whos names I forget are still long, bright and busy.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - This is how you do a tea shop.

This is how you do a tea shop.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Now I did not eat here, but I have a story. When I was last in Kyoto, 2 trips to Japan ago, I ate curry at a place run by an old hunch back woman. The

Now I did not eat here, but I have a story. When I was last in Kyoto, 2 trips to Japan ago, I ate curry at a place run by an old hunch back woman. The menu explained she was old, had all she needed, and so was running the restaurant to collect for charity.
I thought it was in Osaka, not Kyoto. Anyway, I was looking for a bathroom, and decided to head down the stairs to the subway. Down there was a very big, dated looking mall, it looked familiar. And then I spotted the curry shop and realised it was in Kyoto not Osaka.
I thought the old woman must be dead by now, when I was last here she was doing everything herself, cooking, greeting, cleaning, taking orders, bowing as you leave, all with her notre dame hunch. Anyway, shes still there and going strong.
Probably should have eaten there but didnt, have had enough curry lately.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - One of many school groups, practicing the colored hat game. Getting through or past one of these groups can be very challenging.

One of many school groups, practicing the colored hat game. Getting through or past one of these groups can be very challenging.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Obviously you need to pray for low low prices.

Obviously you need to pray for low low prices.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - BIGBOSS is still here, and still making me weep for Australian guitar stores and their pathetic range of 'Gibson AND Fender...we are proud to offer bo

BIGBOSS is still here, and still making me weep for Australian guitar stores and their pathetic range of 'Gibson AND Fender...we are proud to offer both brands!'


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Halloween is a far bigger deal to Japanese than makes sense.

Halloween is a far bigger deal to Japanese than makes sense.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Kyoto has hundreds of these alleyways full of little restaurants, only in Kyoto they welcome tourists including westerners. It was still hot so I was

Kyoto has hundreds of these alleyways full of little restaurants, only in Kyoto they welcome tourists including westerners. It was still hot so I was wearing shorts, I need to find somewhere a little more informal.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - I wanted to go here. It is a special Kyoto variant of Okonomyaki. Folded over like a calzone, completed product pictured on the right. I wanted to go

I wanted to go here. It is a special Kyoto variant of Okonomyaki. Folded over like a calzone, completed product pictured on the right. I wanted to go here last time I was in Kyoto, but then like now, the line is huge and I dont have an umbrella to wait in the rain because I dont enjoy poking out the eyes of strangers.


Japan-Kyoto-Shopping Street-Mapo Tofu - Despite not getting octopus and fish flake with noodles calzone, I was very happy with my dinner of Mapo Tofu. Quite authentic (I am qualified to say

Despite not getting octopus and fish flake with noodles calzone, I was very happy with my dinner of Mapo Tofu. Quite authentic (I am qualified to say that, I have been to the restaurant in Chengdu where it was invented!). I spoke Chinese to the Chinese guy running the place, he was amused by this.


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