In a previous BLOG entry titled "An Evening in Ponto-cho", I mentioned about the expensive restaurants along the Ponto-cho alley. During the warmer months of the year, the restaurants on the river side of Ponto-cho allow dinning on open air platforms overlooking the Kamogawa (Kamo river). If you can afford the prices of these places, it would make for a very special evening during your visit to Kyoto.
However if you can't afford the prices of these places you could do what many do and buy some take away food and sit down on the bank of the Kamogawa. Just as some people are doing in the background on this photo. It's a good way to relax and take in the atmosphere of Kyoto on a warm night.
Access to Ponto-cho is pretty easy, it's just to the west of the bridge over the Kamo River on Shijo Dori on the north side of the road. The bridge is very close to the Hankyu Kawamachi and the Keihan Gion Shijo train stations. Public access to the river bank is via a stairway just near the entrance to Ponto-cho on Shijo-dori.
If you're anywhere near Kyoto at the moment or over the next few days, make sure you come to Kyoto. The festivities of the month long Gion Matsuri will have one of the highlights this coming week. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights the streets will be closed to vehicle traffic and the floats for the 1st Parade will be lit up with lanterns. There will also be a number of traditional food stalls set up on the streets. Midday this coming Thursday (July 17th) will be the 1st Parade. Then evenings from July 21st-23rd the streets will be closed to vehicle traffic at night as the floats for the 2nd Parade are lit up. The 2nd Parade will be on July 24th. This is definitely the best festival in Kyoto, so don't miss it.
This photo was taken with a Nikon D700 camera and an AF Nikkor 50f/1.8D lens. This the jpeg file straight from the camera, no post processing has been done on this image.