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Traditional Japanese shopping streets

出町桝形商店街 demachi matsugata shoten gai shopping center kyoto japan

Shopping street in Kyoto, Japan – Demachi Masugata Shotengai (出町桝形商店街)

Soon after I took this previously published photo, rain began to fall quite heavily so I headed for refuge in the nearby covered shopping street. I purchased a chuhai and sat on a bench at the end of the street to wait out the storm. That’s when I took today’s photo.

A French man with a dog in his bike basket came down the street and stopped. He was surprised to see another foreigner in this part of town. We started talking in English, but I had difficulty understanding him and he me. So when I figured out that he had lived in Japan for 15+ years I asked him in Japanese if he would prefer to speak in Japanese. He was thrilled since his Japanese was much better than his English. We had a long chat until the rain slowed down, and then we both got on our bikes and headed in opposite directions. The best part of our conversation was seeing the looks on people’s faces as they passed. They were either stunned or smiling to see two white men speaking to each other in Japanese.

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