I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of Kyoto when I first arrived there on a day trip from Osaka. We’ve all seen the pictures of the shrines, forests and palaces, and it was those very sights which I had come to see first-hand. But before I could even get there, I stumbled upon Kawaramachi first, Kyoto’s bustling downtown district. 
I rented a bike, ambled through the shotengai of Nishiki Market and sat down to sample some signature okonomoyaki. 
It’s tough to quantify, but this quaint ‘downtown’ area of Kyoto felt like the perfect blend of modern and traditional, almost like a counterpoint to the uber-modern Tokyo and hedonistic Osaka.

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