The quiet shuffle of the early morning set against an empty pale blue sky. Shopkeepers standing on their purches set against the empty streets of stone and house’ of wood and wash the stoop, first they carefully brush up any litter or leaves before a simple green hose from its constant purch next to the door and then, if needed, any details that need cleaning are tended to individually with a bucket and sponge.
The sun is low and in the eyes and the air is cool but with potential. The trickle of school kids with the odd bentback old lady in traditional gear are pretty much the only movers on the streets at this time. They wander whistfully, unaware of the scenic beauty of their surroundings.
A pretty young schoolgirl passes me unawares, lost in a song and a world of innocence and oblivion. She sings and skips through the winding thin stone streets. On her back a bright red schoolbag and, hanging neatly, a tidy cloth bag containing (what I assume is) her lunch. She stops, turning briefly towards a seemingly shoddy thrown together wooden shrine, and bows ever so slightly. Brief turn back and returns to her song. Another schoolboy now, bustling, hurried and trying to tidy his morning hairdo, flattening with the palms of his hands.
I stop at a morning cafe that serves breakfast of coffee, soy milk, salad, eggs bacon and, yes, hotdog for breakfast too. I sit out in the sun and watch the people moving with a view of the little streets and the green green mountains behind.
If it wasn’t for the fact that it took me five minutes to walk here I would have assumed that it was a country town and not the centre of a massive bustling city. It is 8.40 by now and I am planning to be back in the hostel for 9, to get a move on to my next port of call. Kyoto has been all too brief but I really must move on.