Teramachi is one of Kyoto's most distinctive and historic streets. On any visit to Kyoto try to find time to wander this north-south boulevard especially along the stretch between the Imperial Palace and Shijo Street.
Teramachi actually continues north from Marutamachi, running alongside the Imperial Palace on its east side, intersects with Imadegawa Street and then continues following the direction of the Shimogamo River, but the most interesting part is south of Marutamachi dori.
"Tera-machi" means "Temple (寺) area" (町) and dates from the late 15th century when the warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi relocated several Kyoto temples here as part of the rebuilding of the city after nearly a hundred years of war.
Head south on Teramachi from Marutamachi, which runs parallel with the south side of the Imperial Palace. The tree-lined street here is full of upmarket antiquarian book shops, stylish cafes, pleasant restaurants and traditional teahouses. Shimogyroyo Shrine and Gyoganji Temple are just on your left near the junction with Marutamachi.
Crossing Oike Street opposite Kyoto City Hall, Teramachi becomes a covered arcade as it runs down to the Nishiki food market and Shijo Street. There are souvenir stores, clothes shops, ethnic outlets, pachinko parlors, instrument shops, you name a product and there's a good chance of finding it here.
Honnonji Temple, where Oda Nobunaga met his death in 1582, Nishiki Tenmangu Shrine and Yatadera Temple are three historic sites on the east side of the street.
South of Shijo, Teramachi has a new guise - a mini-Akihabara with Kyoto's largest concentration of electronics stores.
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Wednesday, June 18, 2008
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