We got to Kyoto in the late afternoon, after catching an hour and 45 min ride on the Shinkansen (the bullet train). California definitely needs to finish making the bullet train from SF to LA pronto! It makes travel so much easier! After checking into our hotel (my favorite is the Hyatt Regency Kyoto), we went to the downtown Gion district and had dinner by Kamogawa (the Kamo River). During the summer seasons you can enjoy dining outside, Japanese style (aka sitting on floor) on large patios facing the river. And that's exactly what we did! (or you can always grab a beer and sit on the river banks, which you can see lots of people opted for as well).
The narrow alleys lined with restaurants...
...and shops selling Japanese ware for the tourists.
Al fresco dining!
Wouldn't be right to dine outside on a beautiful evening without beer!