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Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capital Paperback – Apr 1 2008
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What began as the author's translation of Japanese-language Kyoto street and informational signs grew into a bountiful little book complete with superstitions, legends, history, and popular culture. The map key foretells the natural details used to guide the visitor through 27 walking tours of this beautiful, ancient city. Pagodas, gates, and shrines are marked, along with waterfalls, springs, cherry trees, plum trees, and lotus flowers. Romantic names such as "Sound of Feathers Waterfall," "Moon-Crossing Bridge" and "Teahouse of Clear Rippling Waves" intimate how highly the Japanese regard the natural world. On each clearly written tour, the author reveals fascinating facts about the city: the lattice-windowed wooden townhouses are called eel houses because of their depth and narrowness, and norens are the split curtains that help distinguish businesses from homes, hanging in the doorways of open shops and restaurants to announce the name of the business and the nature of its trade. Whether or not you're planning a trip to Kyoto, this is a fascinating glimpse into the culture of Japan. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Judith Clancy has lived in Kyoto since 1970, and her interest in the traditions of the ancient capital has led her to study and write about traditional music, the tea ceremony, and Ikebana. While acting as the guide and interpreter for various groups, she established ties with many dedicated traditional artists and teachers.
Top Customer Reviews
My problem with 'Exploring Kyoto' is that it is tries to be a collection of walking tours that you would carry and use as a guide but it does not work well in that way. For one the book is cumbersome and not organised in a way that is easy to follow on the fly. The maps are poor and the descriptions of the routes are not always clear. Sometimes it is not even clear where you need to start the walk. The text is more suitable to reading in a comfortable location before or after you head out.
On the positive side, I had a really great time exploring the western outskirts of Kyoto with this book, and it gave me a look at the Goin district that was richer than I found elsewhere. It covers some of the 'must see' sights of Kyoto but I found its' strength to be in the lesser known sights in the outskirts of the city. If you plan to be in Kyoto only a couple of days this book may be unnecessary, there is a free pamphlet available at the tourist office called 'Kyoto Walks' that covers the main sights. If you will be in Kyoto a week or longer and want to visit some lesser known, historically fascinating sights, 'Exploring Kyoto' may be of value to you.
If you are adventurous and want to travel on your own, I urge you to purchase this book before you leave and plan your Kyoto visit to include at least one of her fascinating walks.
Most recent customer reviews
I recently used this book as a guide for about 2/3 of my destinations during a 3 week trip to Kyoto - the choice of temples, gardens and historical sites is excellent. Read morePublished on Dec 4 2010 by Johnny Darkness
We purchased several guide books in planning our trip to Kyoto. This book was referred to far more than the others. Read morePublished on April 26 2002 by Eric