Kawaramachi — The night street of Kyoto
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is often described as a place where the country has its cultural roots and that the traditional and modern forms of life go hand in hand in this city. Saying so, one would wonder as to where does she go for fun (apart from the usual cultural experiences!). The beautiful and eloquent city of shrines and temples ought to have some sort of get away from the hustle of daily monotony!
In my experiences what I’ve observed is that most of the shops, restaurants and shopping centers close relatively early, at about 9 PM, I was quite taken by surprise by this as a foreigner would usually assume that major bustling cities never sleep!
So…was I wrong to assume that Kyoto was the same as Osaka and Tokyo. Well, yes and no to be fair, this city is certainly apart from what the other big cities are but Kyoto is Kyoto. It is a unique thing about this that you have to be here to experience it, it is not just something that can be described in words! and while the whole city is asleep one area is as awake as at any time of the day! Yes, I am talking about Kawaramachi — the street which is always open to all.
Kwaramachi has almost about everything that entices foreigners and Japanese alike. Fast food shops, budget eateries, pubs, nightclubs, barbeque and multi cuisine restaurants, Izakayas and many more places that I have yet to explore. If you ask me, I would personally recommend the Barbeque restaurants, which are not much expensive and you can have an All-you-can-eat/drink course, which is totally worth it. In short, it is THE place to be if you are looking to hang out with your buddies or if you just wanna take some time off.
Strange thing is that Kawaramachi is comparatively less crowded during the day than at night and the place starts getting crowed at around the evening, which is the best time to be near the picturesque Imadegawa river, or better if you take a walk along the stream. The best season, however, in my opinion would be in or around March when Spring is at its peak and the Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.