Now and then: modern Kyoto in comparison with The Old Capitol
If you want to explore how Kyoto has evolved, and to compare old Kyoto to the modern city, this tour would be the perfect one for you. By visiting various cultural settings such as restaurants, architectural highlights, and galleries in the bustling downtown, you will see how old tradition is still alive under Kyoto’s modern face.
The Nijo Castle was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in the Edo period. As a defensive measure, he had its wooden floorboards designed to squeak under the lightest footfall, to ensure that no ‘ninja’ (hired assassins) would be able to escape detection. These singing floorboards are called ‘uguisu bari’ (nightingale floors). The architectural sophistication of the rest of the castle is also remarkable.
Located south of Nijo Castle, this Japanese sweet shop offers about 50 different kinds of homemade sweets. They make their items in a studio in the back of the shop, and occasionally allow customers to observe the old-fashioned production process. Some of their items have earned strongly devoted fans.
This is an 800-metre long covered arcade—the longest in the city—that is lined up with many shops. These shops including a bakery, deli shop, and grocery store that are geared to serve the neighbours, so you can glimpse the daily life of the locals. If you are adventurous, you may want to try one of the long-established restaurants or cafés like a local. Another great thing about this arcade is that when it rains, you can enjoy walking on this street without an umbrella.