Episode 5 of the Savage Japan Podcast, the racism episode, was recorded at the nearby Kyoto International Community Center shortly before this photo was taken. Episode 5 with its difficult subject matter is proving to be a tough episode to crank out. The current target date for availability is Friday, September 10th. You can hear previous episodes of the Savage Japan Podcast at SavageJapan.com or SavageSnowPodcast.com.
After a Japanese person affiliated with a Kyoto Muslim group told me I had the wrong color eyeballs, hair, and skin to be allowed to participate in their International Food Festival at the Kyoto city-owned International Community Center (irony of ironies), I then headed south on a whim to look for adventures elsewhere in Kyoto. That particular encounter with Japanese and Islamic racism along with another story of Japanese racism can be heard in episode 5 of the podcast coming soon.
Just roaming around on my bicycle with no particular destination in mind, I stumbled upon this famous spot that I’ve been to years before on previous short trips to Kyoto. Yasaka Jinja is a Shinto shrine with its main entrance on the eastern edge of Gion. Shijo-dori, one of Kyoto’s main shopping streets, ends in Gion at this Yasaka Jinja entrance. Maruyama Park, famous for cherry blossom viewing in the spring, is located behind Yasaka Jinja and can be found simply by walking straight through the shrine area in an easterly direction.
Photo Details: The taxis pile up here at night to carry patrons to and from the hundreds of bars, clubs, restaurants and other nightlife squeezed into the relatively small Gion entertainment district of Kyoto, which is also known for its concentration of geisha (technically geiko and maiko – there are no geisha in Kyoto). I snapped this image handheld while still straddling my bicycle before heading up Shijo street to work my way back home towards Nijo Castle. I’m sure I”ll end up back here again at night with a tripod at some point. I need to pick up a highly portable real tripod sometime soon and carry it with me whenever I expect to be out at night. As I knew would be the case, the mini tripod I squeezed into my luggage for this trip is less than ideal for most situations.
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