Central district of Kyoto and terminus of the Hankyu line to Umeda in Osaka. It literally means "town on the river plateau," and, sure enough, it's on the river. Kawaramachi isn't full of the temples and shrines that permeate the rest of the city: it has office buildings and department stores, much like any other central city in Japan. The best time to visit is during the Gion Festival in late July, when the streets are crowded with visitors and the taiko beat into the night.

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