After a rather wet afternoon exploring Southern Higashiyama I headed towards the city centre to find the guest house I would be staying in that night. To be perfectly honest I don’t usually like hostels but this particular place got excellent reviews and considering how expensive hotels are in Japan it seemed like a good option.
Situated a short walk from Nijo Station and Sanjokai Market (above), Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya was opened in early 2010 and is tucked away down a quiet side street in a local neighbourhood. The renovated house perfectly blends tradition with modern conveniences and was spotlessly clean (I forgot to take photos but you can see some here). The hosts/owners were extremely accommodating and I thoroughly enjoyed staying here – it should really be classed as a “boutique hostel”.
After checking in I went out to find some dinner in the downtown area which was very busy considering it was a Sunday evening. While wandering through the streets I noticed some brightly lit paper lanterns hanging between two buildings and discovered a wonderful small shrine.
As with most shrines, you’ll find a station for purifying yourself with water which comes from a natural well 300 meters deep.
There was a cute instruction guide as to how you should do it – first wash your mouth, then clean your hands.
There is a great sense of safety in Japan – in China or the UK someone would have undoubtedly run off with these if they had been left unsecured like this. Here people really show a lot of respect for the local environment and keep everything in nice condition.
Although simple, the glowing lanterns were exceptionally beautiful in my eyes and I took lots of photos. On many of them, I noticed this symbol of six red circles – I wonder what it means?
If you’re looking for the shrine it can be found on Nishiki-dori street, close to Teramachi-dori street and ShinKyougoku-dori street. There are many small shops and restaurants nearby in the covered market and a great place to visit if it’s wet outside.