Hisano, a beautiful young maiko from Ponto-cho in her casual daytime yukata, sheilded from the scolding summer sun by a Japanese paper umbrella.
Hisano strolls along the narrow alley known as Pontocho, the second largest traditional entertainment district in Kyoto, after Gion. Running 500 meters (0.3 miles), it is bordered on the east by the Kamo river and the Takase-gawa canal to the west.
A clear sign the summer has come. More than 80 of Pontocho's restaurants, bars, and other establishments set up wooden balconies on stilts over the canal on the west bank of the Kamo River, between Nijo Street and Gojo Street.
The famous Kamo River has been the backdrop of the Geisha and Maiko of Kyoto since the mid 17th century, when the first tea houses of Gion and Pontocho sprang up. Summer is the perfect chance to enjoy dinner by the cool, clear waters of the Kamagawa.
The mountains fade into blue as your eye follows the path of the river downstream, until its hard tell where the mountains end and the clouds begin
Pontocho's mon (crest) adorns the bright red lanterns that line the narrow alleyway, bringing a soft glow to magical evenings among the old buildings, illuminating ephemeral glimpses of geiko and maiko as they disappear into the night. The chidori is a small bird known as a plover, often spotted along the banks of the Kamogawa.