Kyoto Notebook

While our masthead promises “Perspectives from Asia,” our heart is here in this marvelous city that forms the foundation for KJ’s interconnected vision. What’s going on here in old Kyoto? Perspectives from Kyoto…

The obvious antiquity of elements of Kyoto makes the city something like a time machine. However, that is only part of the attraction. More important, perhaps, is the fact that Kyoto’s antiquity continues to be renewed — through daily raking of the sand at Ryoan-ji, refurbishing of the platform at Kiyomizu-dera, or even the natural renewal of the foliage on Higashiyama — all “living” reminders of Kyoto’s past. Even in the Edo period, people from all over Japan traveled to Kyoto to see the famous sites. Because so little in the basic structure of the city has changed, an Edo period traveler, transported in time to prsent day Kyoto would have little trouble finding his way about the city. The bright lights of pachinko parlors would no doubt be fascinating to such a time traveler. He would probably even find the Kyoto meisho-zue, an eighteenth century guidebook, still useful. How untrue this statement would be applied to Tokyo or Osaka.
—George Hlawatsch, KJ 27

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