Cyclist in Kamishichiken
Today (May 24th), I'm sharing another shot I took out at Kamishichiken on May 14. Kamishichiken is the least visited by tourists of all of the "Hanamachi" (Geisha districts) and its symbol is the reverse of the most visited Hanamachi - Gion-Kobu. Kamishichiken's symbol is red dango (rice balls) on a white background, Gion-Kobu is white dango on a red background. The symbol is shown on the lanterns in this shot, take a look at the lanterns in the shot two entries ago to see the Gion-Kobu symbol.
People going to the tea houses arrive by Taxi and the streets are fairly quiet otherwise. I took a few photos of these buildings. Catching the lady on her "mamachari" (what the cheap heavy shopping bicycles are called in Japan - it's a contraction of "Mama's chariot") added a bit of movement and life to the photo. It also shows the location's suburban setting. Bicycles are how most locals in Kyoto's suburbs get about day to day, much easier than trying to negotiate Kyoto's narrow roads with cars.
There are also plenty of places where you can rent a mamachari and explore Kyoto at cycle pace. Although I wouldn't recommend cycling around the downtown area, as there is too much foot traffic and very few places you can legally park bicycles. Bicycles are great out in Kyoto's suburbia, plus there's normally either one or two baskets for your bags.
Please see the previous BLOG "Maiko-san in Kamishichiken" for detailed transport options for getting to Kamishichiken. It's best to go in the early evenings if you want to spot a Maiko-san. If you're looking for somewhere to eat around the area there's a Sushi Restaurant and Western Restaurant on the main street, the meals are in the 2,000 to 6,000 yen range for dinner. For cheaper meal options there are a number of places on Imedegawa-Dori south west from the Kitano-Tenmangu-Mae bus stop.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 24f/2.8D lens. It was captured as a RAW (.NEF) file and post processed in DxO Optics Pro. I made the following adjustments: Default camera and lens corrections applied; spot white balance applied; Highlights (- 15); DxO Smart lighting (25); DxO Clear View (50); Microcontrast (+25); Vibrancy (+25); and PRIME noise reduction (40).