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Firsthand Advice: Many geocachers have been misleaded to think that the cache is located in the last small shrine; if you read carefully this is not claimed. The waypoint at the heading of this page is the location of the cache.
Within Kyoto, Gion is one of the few remaining areas where the traditional imagery and scale of the the old city may still be appreciated.
Gion is an active center of preparation, artistic display of Maikos (Geisha aprentices), it is also an important center of recreation and active night live. One of the charms of this area are sporadic sighting of geishas and Maikos, as you wander along a given alley or street.
I will start by describing a small path of waypoints which you might number sequentially (in your gps) for your ease to follow them, within the rather small area of Gion, which will have as a last spot the cache itself.
You could start by visiting Yasaka shrine ( N35 00.206 E135 46.704 ), the main shrine in Gion, and Origin of the Famous Gion Matsuri. The shrine was first built in 656 AD, almost 150 years before the founding of Heian-Kyo (The original name of Kyoto), capital of Japan until 1868. It is a shrine where believers pray for protection against disasters.
Acording to chinese Geomancy, ( which influenced native Shinto tradition ), the directional god of the east was the Blue Water Dragon, and it protected the city along with the three others. Yasaka shrine is considered a dragon lair, which encompases earth's energy; therefore, a lake fed by fresh water is to be found beneath the inner shrine.
Native shinto belief, did almost completly lack an architectural expresion, for the deities where worshiped in their source, in montains, trees, springs or even rocks.
The two protective lions ( N35 00.224 E135 46.645) at the entrance of the shrine are intended to convey the sounds of both birth (aaah) and death (Mmmm), as one enters the shrine, from Shijo street.
From here we may proceed west along Shijo Av, towards Miyako street ( N35 00.221 E135 46.502 ), The heart of Gion, from where you can head to N35 00164 E135 46.523 and later to N35 00146 E135 46.522, further on you will start to be surrounded by the charm of this area, look at your left when you approach N35 00.139 E135 46.563.
As you continue walking east, enter through the narrow alley at the end of the street, and reach to its end ( N35 00.136 E135 46.603 ) and appreciate the inner vecinity.
Returning through the same street you came, at some point you should turn left through another alley, to reach its turning point ( N35 00.115 E135 46.501 ), where I saw a Geisha who passed me by. Reach out untill N35 00.135 E135 46.466, and then head for the Main stage for Maiko and Geisha performances, The Kaburenjo Theater ( N35 00.096 E135 46.509 ). Out on shijo Av., to the south, there is a small shrine ( N35 00.255 E135 46.384 )squeezed between the many comercial buildings, and presenting an interesting history, related to the nearby river Kamo.
Fron this stage you may proceed as you wish towards an area ( N35 00.306 E135 46.469 )where you may see to your right, as you approach, the contrasting modern styles which which are abundant in some areas. You may continue, and after you pass the narrow alley of restaurants and shops, and cross the small canal, you may pray in this small...small shrine ( N35 00.340 E135 46.468 )in order to find the cache!!!. The renovated traditional house behind the shrine, is a nice artesanal watch shop. From here on you are after the cache, and you are on your own to choose to approach it along the canal to the left or the nice Traditional street to the right....
Remember well...to validate your find you must submit a creative picture of the "Small shrine" on shijo street, or anything in the surroundings. If possible, you should also leave an interesting location waypoint in the cache logbook and on the website as you log your find.
Orybj...... jul abg gvr lbhe fubr ynprf?....zntarg....
- A head turner. After a profound decline, it appears that the Geisha trade undergoes a slight recovery. It also looks like the initial process of modernization of japan did have a negative impact upon this trade. Although arguably becouse of the japanese purpose to keep up with the strict Victorian and early Edwardian standards of the late 19th and early 20th century.
The almost vanished Geisha trade is evident when one hears the surprised remark of japanese
youths, as a geisha descends from a taxi: "Sugo
- Gion, from Yasaka Shrine. Late 19th century.At the time when New York started to be known for its skyscrapers, Kyoto still presented a charming and coherent urban structure, which spoke of unbroken traditions, with the scale and nature of japanese wooden architecture.
- Maiko (would-be-geishas) training. Late 19th cent.Gion is still an important center of Geisha activities.
- Yasaka Shrine in the late 19th century.
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum