Old Kyoto: The Updated Guide to Traditional Shops, Restaurants, and Inns

Overview


A completely revised version of the classic guidebook to Kyoto, with a foreword by Donald Richie.

Down the cobbled paths and behind the tranquil noren curtains of Kyoto, the old way of life goes on, nurtured in the restrained furnishings of the traditional inns and in the old shops where fine handmade items still add a touch of quality to life.

Since the first edition appeared in 1986, this lovingly written travelogue-cum-guidebook has become ...

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Overview


A completely revised version of the classic guidebook to Kyoto, with a foreword by Donald Richie.

Down the cobbled paths and behind the tranquil noren curtains of Kyoto, the old way of life goes on, nurtured in the restrained furnishings of the traditional inns and in the old shops where fine handmade items still add a touch of quality to life.

Since the first edition appeared in 1986, this lovingly written travelogue-cum-guidebook has become de rigueur for knowledgeable travelers seeking to find "the real Kyoto" behind the modern face of the city's constantly changing boulevards. Old Kyoto focuses on the family establishments that have been in business for at least a hundred years, and in some cases for over ten generations. Astonishingly, many of the old shops and inns of Kyoto can still be found on narrow backstreets, under the heavy, tiled rooftops of traditional machiya dwellings. Here, the adventurous traveler will uncover treasures: the way in which a hand-crafted calligraphy brush is bound, a miniature garden tended, a bamboo basket woven.

For critics and travelers alike, Old Kyoto has long been regarded the essential guidebook to Japan's most cherished city. This second edition of Old Kyoto is completely updated. Shops have been added, and maps, prices, directions, descriptions, and general information have all been thoroughly revised.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The recommended establishments in Old Kyoto are so consistently good .... and Diane Durston has woven history and legend into her descriptions of Kyoto's finest and oldest establishments." -The New York Times

"Diane Durston ... leads us into the secrets and hidden beauties of the city with a grace and warmth that are themselves reflective of the vanishing traditions they celebrate. Whenever anyone says he or she wants to see the 'true soul of Kyoto,' I say, 'Buy this book!'" -Pico Iyer

"The wonder is that no one has done what Diane Durston has done, and the delight is that Diane Durston has done it so well." -The Japan Times

"Durston's book is an eloquent look at seven neighborhoods where everyday life in Japan continues despite the crush of modernity...." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"This lovingly written travelogue-cum-guidebook has become de rigueur for knowledgeable travelers seeking to find 'the real Kyoto'." -Rafu Shimpo

New York Times
The recommended establishments in Old Kyoto are so consistently good .... and Diane Durston has woven history and legend into her descriptions of Kyoto's finest and oldest establishments.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Durston's book is an eloquent look at seven neighborhoods where everyday life in Japan continues despite the crush of modernity...
Japan Times
The wonder is that no one has done what Diane Durston has done, and the delight is that Diane Durston has done it so well.
Pico Iyer
Diane Durston ... leads us into the secrets and hidden beauties of the city with a grace and warmth that are themselves reflective of the vanishing traditions they celebrate. Whenever anyone says he or she wants to see the 'true soul of Kyoto,' I say, 'Buy this book!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9784770029942
  • Publisher: Kodansha International
  • Publication date: 4/1/2005
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 5.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

DIANE DURSTON is a writer, lecturer, and consultant on Japan and Asian cultures. She has written three books on Kyoto, where she lived for eighteen years. Kyoto: Seven Paths to the Heart of the City and The Living Traditions of Old Kyoto are her two other publications. Durston now lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Foreword 7
Beginnings 9
History 13
Kyoto Crafts 23
The Traditional Local Cuisine 28
A Night in a Traditional Inn 30
Machiya, the Bedrooms of Eels 32
A Few Helpful Notes 38
Central Kyoto, raku-chu 41
Eastern Kyoto, raku-to 119
Northern Kyoto, raku-hoku 161
Western Kyoto, raku-sei 189
Southern Kyoto, raku-nan 203
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 13, 2012

    Best Guide to Kyoto Ever

    Diane Durston provides just what you need in a guidebook, where to sleep, where to eat and where to shop through insightful descriptions that make these establishments come to life. She made my two previous trips to Kyoto leading me to a fabulous traditional inn I could actually afford and only required me to take breakfast; so, i could enjoy the many wonderful restaurants she describes that abound in Kyoto. As to shopping, I had some of the greatest travel experiences of my life meeting the proprietors of the traditional shops she describes in her delightful prose.

    If you're going to Kyoto, you need this book. I'm currently planning a return trip to Japan and truly wish I could find another author as informed about the cities I'll be visiting this time as Ms. Durston is about Kyoto.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2012

    I have been traveling for work to Kyoto since 2001. For more tha

    I have been traveling for work to Kyoto since 2001. For more than ten years I have spend every year six weeks in Kyoto and this book
    is always in my suitcase. It has been a guide to me finding hidden treasures in one of the most creative places on the planet. Broom makers like Mr. Naitô and tofu makers like Mrs. Iriyama are hard to find on your own. Rent a bike and explore......
    Well done Ms. Durston!

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    This guide will inspire you to explore, but you might not always find what's described

    This book was quite an inspiration while in Kyoto, and certainly increased our appreciation of how Kyoto must have been. The author truly conveys a deep understanding of the Kyoto's unique history and culture. But, after trying to find several of the destinations listed, we were unsuccessful, perhaps because they had disappeared? We noticed that the book was originally published in 1986 and updated in 2005. We imagined that some things had changed since the last update. However, it did inspire us to try some new and special cuisine, such as Yabu (soy skin cuisine) and to appreciate which might be found in the shadowy corners of the oldest alleys and shops of Kyoto.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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