Nene no Michi (The Path of Nene) is among the most beautiful streets in Kyoto. Located in Higashiyama Ward, in eastern Kyoto, two aspects of the streetscape are particularly striking: the adherence to building code (i.e., the buildings are in traditional Kyoto style, with no garish signs or atrocious modern architecture) and, second, the fact that there are no telephone poles or wires to be seen.
Both of these differentiate the street from most of the rest of the city.
Approaching from Maruyama Park and Yasaka Shrine, you walk down a gentle slope towards Kodaiji Temple on the left and Entokuin Temple on the right.
The former, pictured above, was built in 1605 at the behest of Nene, for whom the street was named. She was a noblewoman who married Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Perched on a hill above the street, the temple has some of the best views of the surrounding area and down into central Kyoto.
Back on Nene no Michi, a bit further east, is the lovely Ishibei Koji alley. It is filled with high end restaurants, private homes for the wealthy, and ryokan (Japanese style inns). It represents the best of refined elegance that Kyoto can be.
Walking south on Nene no Michi, you will ultimately arrive at Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka--the narrow sloped streets that have tasteful shops filled with Japanese goods --ultimately arriving at Kiyomizu Temple, which is at the top of the itinerary of most visitors.
From Gion, a 10-15 minute walk. You can go through Yasaka Shrine and then head out the south end. Or a ten-minute walk from the Higashiyama bus stop. Bus #206.
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Saturday, February 17, 2007
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