I headed back down the mountain then and turned left when I hit the more traditional streets, heading towards Kiyomizudera. There are tons of shops along there selling traditional crafts and food though I mostly just window shopped. I did stop to buy nama yatsuhashi, the traditional triangle shaped soft sweet dough with some type of bean paste inside - a staple of the Kyoto omiyage trade. I didn't mean to do so, but they had these amazing sesame flavoured ones which were awesome. One set was white and the other was pure black and both were delicious. I ate one set myself then shared the rest with my office mates like a good Japanese traveler. (The Koreans loved them and even took down the address so they could buy some, but the poor Chinese guy was obviously freaked out by it being pure black.) I had no urge to visit kiyomizudera again so when I got to the base of the hill where it's located and I turned around and headed back to visit Kodaiji. Otherwise known as one of the few major temples in Kyoto I hadn't visited. A couple of cherry trees were blooming early but the main ones hadn't started yet so it was less crowded than it could have been. The temple was quite nice to see, and then I wandered out towards the nearby Maruyama park, and then to Yasaka shrine. I'm not sure if they do this every weekend but there were some floats set out and typical stalls with Japanese festival food. I almost bought some roasted bamboo shoots but then I spotted grilled crab skewers which I had to try. I then headed back towards the Gin district to do some shopping at Book Off and see if the body shop here has hand sanitizer (alas, no luck). By that point, it was about 6pm and I was starting to limp so I made my way back to the trains and headed home.
I kinda want to go back in a week or two and see the cherry blossoms in full bloom but it was so crowded already I'm not sure if I'm up for it. There were a lot of people out in yukata or full kimono in the streets which was lovely to see but I can't imagine how anyone would manage pics if it was more crowded than it already was.