Kamishichiken Area Guide 上七軒エリアガイド

*●*●*  Hakubai-cho & Kamishichiken area in Kamigyo-ku 白梅町・上京区  *●*●*
     ** Kamishichiken Area Guide  上七軒エリアガイド               
 
 
** Introduction : Kamishichiken is also one of Kyoto's five licensed geisha districts. It is the oldest of the five, and is located in northwest Kyoto just east of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.The location is near Nishijin ( the center of the city's weaving and textile industry ) just off Imadegawa Dori (= street). The largest buildings in the area are the Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater, which is where dance performances are held. Those Geikos are living in their lodging houses. You will see some tea houses around Kamishichiken and those are the lodging houses called " Okiya ".  
 
 上七軒は、京都市上京区真盛町から社家長屋町に位置する花街である。 室町時代に北野天満宮の再建の際に残った資材を使って7軒の茶店を建てた。 ウィキペディア
 

YouTube 動画

  See the page : Meet Geisha in Kyoto
 

 For more information on Kamishichiken visit this page  http://www.kamishichiken.jp/home_e.html
 And a very interesting blog about Maiko is found here  http://www.ichi-kyoto.jp/index.php?catid=3&blogid=1
 
   Kyoto Geisha Dances    
 
 Tickets can be purchased either at the theatre listed or in person at the Kyoto Tourist Information Centre which is on the second floor of the Kyoto Train Station. It is advised to book tickets on the first day you are in Kyoto and try to get a seat 2 or 3 days later. Cheap tickets for the backpackers can be available for around 1500 Yen.
 
  Kamishichiken Kaburen-jo Theatre   
  上七軒歌舞練場
 
  Kitano Odori – Kamishichiken Geisha ( Dances of the Kitano Shrine )
 
  Place : Kamishichiken Kaburen-jo Theatre 上七軒歌舞練場
  Location : Imadegawa-dori-Nishihonmatsu nishi iru
(East of the Kitano-Tenman-gu Shinto Shrine)
Performances at 1pm and 3pm

  From July 1st to September 5.
  Open 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
( closed from 14th to 16th in August)
 
 ** Local Area Guide of Kamishichiken                              
 

 The stone path of Kamishichiken offers a classic view of old capital Kyoto. The path starts from leads to the east gate of Kitano tenmangu Shrine located just in the west. the area of Kamishichiken itself is encircled by Imadegawa street  今出川通り and Shichihonmatsu street  七本松通り and Itsutsuji Street 五辻通り and the one central street is the main street of Kamishichiken. The area is filled with classic houses made into Machiya style architecture since this town was originlly developed by 7 Tea Houses. ( Kami = north / Shichi = Seven / Ken = count of household ). There is Kitano Tenmangu to the west and Hirano Shrine is in the north west of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. You might want to stop by in this area by any chance you visit  Shimai Tenjin Market of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. This area is a part of designated zone of a night illumination event called Miyako Light annually held in November.

    
Page-link :  Jintan 仁丹

 Itsutsuji street stretches in the east and west. In the east starts from Omiya street to all the way to the point of kamishichiken in front of east gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine to the west. The street is also known as a place where you see a lot of metalic plates of Jintan.   五辻通は京都市の東西の通りの一つ。大宮通から西へ、上七軒の北野天満宮東門前の御前通まで。

       Daikoku-cho - Kamishichiken Kamigyo-ku / Nishijin   上京区・西陣          
                    ** Miyako Light  都ライト                                 
Official Home Page ( Web-link : http://miyako-light.anewal.net/

 Started in 2004 by the name of Miyako Light, this annual event has been held in Nishijin area of kamigyo-ku. ( Miyako = Old Capital + Light = Illumination : All together it means illuminated town of old capital ). It is an event to promote traditional culture of Nishijin. So many houses on the designated streets within the venue of Miyako Light will be lit up. The event has been organized by the collaboration of local community of owners of houses called " Machiya " and people who work in such places and students of several local universities in Kyoto. In this event the long-standing traditional culture of Kyoto and Japan has been introduced in the form of exhabitions, hands-on trials of local culture and some stage performances.

 

YouTube 動画


 都ライトは、上京区で開催される、町家のライトアップイベントです。また、ライトアップに合わせ、京都や日本の文化にまつわるものを中心に様々な展示・体験・パフォーマンスが開かれます。 Event Guide ( Web-link : http://miyako-light.anewal.net/mainmenu/event/

 
 
  Light up of Machiya  町家の灯り                                                                    
 
 
 Unlike the effect of light-up from the outside the way the lights leaking through the narrow spaces of Koshi lattice creates special effect that reflect on the ground in a beautiful pattern of lattice. In this event total of approximately 50 machiya houses along the designated course will be lit up to provide the sense of warmness on the streets. To make this project come true it takes a strong sense of cooperation from local residents. The whole event is created to express the warmness of the local culture and the tradition and techniques involved around machiya in Kyoto.
 
 都ライトでは、外側からのライトアップとは異なり、町家の格子の内側にライトを設置します。すると、格子模様の光が路面に美しい模様を描きます。私たちはその光を、町家で営まれてきた暮らしの灯りに見立て、その暖かさや、町家の中と外、人と人とのつながりを表現しようとしています。これに合わせ、住民の方々のご協力のもと、様々なイベントを開催しています。それらのイベントの一部には、会場となる通りの町家で育まれてきた文化や技術が生かされています。
 
 ** Machiya ( Kyo-Machiya = Machiya of Kyoto ) 京都の町屋(京町屋)    
 
 
 Those traditional houses called Machiya are traditional wooden townhouses. Those wooden sturucture of particular style were originated in Heian Period and were found throughout Japan until Meiji period. ( From the late 7th century to early 19th century ). The architectural style of Machiya houses are believed to have typified the historical image of Kyoto as the capital.  Machiya literally means Town 町 House 家 Shop 屋.  They were built for a commercial purpose. The front of a machiya features wooden lattices, or kōshi (格子) and incorporate earthen walls and baked tile roofs.
 
 かつて、日本の商人・職人は「町家」と呼ばれる細長い木造の家を仕事場とし、住まいとしてきました。日本で唯一京都には2万件とも3万件ともいわれる町家が残っていますが、建築や住まいのあり方の変化とともにその数は減りつづけています。
 
 ** Machiya - traditional houses in Kyoto ( Video By NHK )   

YouTube 動画

2. Kamishichiken Street of Kamishichiken  上七軒通
 
 
desktop background image of a man praying at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Paying Respects at the sumptuous Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) Kyoto Japan -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online) “ Rafters ” above the bell -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online) desktop background image of an outside covered area at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮), Kyoto Japan -- Exposed To Show the Wood -- Kitano Tenmangu Shrine (北野天満宮) -- Copyright 2013 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
They hold a good antique market ( Shimai Tenjin Market ) here on 25th of every month

YouTube 動画

 
 There is also Geisha / Maiko dancing performance of Kamishichiken held on a stage in Kitano tenmangu Shrine on Setsubun Festival ( Feb 3rd ) ( Page-link : Japanese Setsubun 

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( Kita-ku ). Hirano Shrine  平野神社 ( Sakura Viewing )
  

     ** Kamishichiken Futaba  ふた葉                                       
 

 We recommend Kamishichiken Futaba or Susakabe-an for your dining option to get the sense of classic local culture of this area. Futaba in Japanese stands for " Double Leaves ". This is why the restaurant has a symbol of double leaves of Aoi on its noren curtain. Futaba is a Japanese style of Udon & Donburi restaurant. They offer very reasonable price for the food prepared into quality meals. The price on the menu surprisingly range from 650 yen to 800 yen at most. This place has a large capacity of dining section to seats around 50 people. the highlight is their Zashiki style of dining section built with tatami mats and wooden Ozen tables on the left side of the restaurant. ( Web-link ) Since their homepage only offers Japanese information, please refer to our page on Udon & Donburi section to find common menu to match with what you are interested.   

Menu Page is called Oshinagaki ( Web-link )
 
 It is located just about a few blocks to the west of the starting point of the stonme path of Kamishichiken on the right side as you make your way toward west. See the map below.
 
京都市上京区今出川通り 七本松西入る真盛町719(北野上七軒)

Futaba

 
To learn what's on menu see Page-link : Donburi
 

 ** Susakabe-an ( すさかべ庵 )    ( Tomoji Horie )

 You might want to stop by at this Soba Noodle restaurant called Susakabe-an before or after visiting Kitano Tenmangu or Kamishichiken. This one is located near the traffic signal of Kami-shichiken on Imadegawa street right across the other side of Seven Eleven. There used to be another one before it was opened in its current location. I went to have lunch with Isabelle for the first time. The restaurant offers great service. It's a place where you can enjoy an authentic taste of hand-made buckwheat noodle dishes.

   

Susakabe-an


 【上七軒通】(かみしちけんどおり
 
京都市上京区今出川通七本松西入ル
 
( Train ) Take a Subway Karasuma Line and get off at Imadegawa.
( Bus ) Take 203, 51, 55, 50, 10 to Kamishichiken
 
鉄道をご利用の方◇  京都駅より地下鉄烏丸線乗車9分  「今出川」駅降車
市バス「烏丸今出川」停より市バス203系統 乗車15分  「上七軒」停下車すぐ
 
市バスをご利用の方◇   10・50・51・55・203系統「上七軒」停下車 すぐ

** From this location Kura Sushi or Oedo would also be a great dining option.


 Editor ( Translation & Research ) : Masayuki Iwasa ( Massy ) & Tomoji Horie
               TGM語学研修(英語学習教材+プログラム開発)岩佐昌幸

   
 
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