One of the gifts blogging has given me is a greatly increased appreciation for photography. I used to be indifferent, almost averse to photo ops, reasoning on notability and the power of my own memory, so as a result there are actually some fairly large gaps in my life that I wish I had a little more evidence of. Now, though, I reach for my camera like John Marston reaches for his revolver: At the slightest provocation, with startling speed and accuracy, I will whip it out of my pants and snap off a shot. It's become almost a sub-hobby of blogging itself, and I quite enjoy displaying the occasional pretty picture amid the mass of blurry, incorrectly framed, and poorly lit captures that make up the bulk of my efforts.
With that in mind, I'm going to be something a little more involved than my usual stuffs, and embark on a little Gion Photo Project. In past posts I have simply travelled to a location, seen what I could see, and gone home, but this time I conducted a number of shoots over multiple days, to gather more and varied material. I chose Gion as my subject, just because it's accessible, it's famous, and I think a lot of people might like to see it. Maybe I'm wrong. Hope not.
Gion, of course, is the largest geisha district left in the country. Despite their being a perennial symbol of Japan in the minds of everyone ever, their numbers and significance have dwindled over the last hundred as a result of public apathy, which I would speculate comes from their practicing an outdated medium that nobody enjoys anymore. There is an ongoing push for their preservation, but I'm pretty sure the only way you're going to see a real geisha now is at either a horrendously expensive teahouse or a horrendously expensive performance. That does not mean there's nothing to see in Gion, however.
Aww yeah, the SKETCHY part of Gion! And right off Shijou, too. Awesome stuff. The density of Girls Bars, kyabakura and dive bars rivals Kiyamachi.
Planning a trip to Gion? You might want to remember this gate.