“Let’s be dyed in the color of Kyoto.”

The Japanese phrase, “…色に染まるiro ni somaru” means “to be dyed in the color of…”; figuratively speaking, it is changing oneself to fit the standards of a certain person, institution, etc. To preserve Kyoto’s traditional and historical landscapes, various measures have been established, especially in the last decade or so, one of them being the use of colors; regulations prohibit buildings, signs, etc. from being too gaudy and clashing with Kyoto’s image of the cultural capital of Japan. Since learning this, I’ve made it a point to notice the followings of these regulations.

KRP Starbucks, the only Starbucks with a drive-thru in Kyoto…this is my favorite Starbucks in all of Kyoto (Mar 2007)

a brown (and stylish) McDonald’s near Kyoto Gai-Dai (京都外国語大学Kyoto Gaigokugo Daigaku (Kyoto Foreign Languages University)) (Apr 2007)

Joshin is an electronics chain store and the exterior is usually any mix of red, blue, yellow and white but this one near Kyoto Station is in several shades of brown. (Sept 2008)

Lawson is a convenience store chain in Japan…its sign is usually light blue with white, hot pink and navy accents but the Lawson across from Yasaka Shrine in Gion has a traditional look. (Oct 2008)

 a Japanese-y telephone booth near the Kyo-Dai (京都大学Kyoto Daigaku (Kyoto University)) campus (Oct 2008)

a brown mailbox in front of the Kyoto Central Post Office (Dec 2008)

brown cones in the Higashiyama area (Jan 2009)

a 7-Eleven with its name in brown and a Japanese-style roof (Jan 2009)

Even Tully’s Coffee cups!? (Jan 2009)

Exelsior Caffé (part of the Doutor Coffee Corporation) in brown instead of the usual blue, green and white on Karasuma Street (Jan 2010)

a brown vending machine on Higashitouin Street (Oct 2012)

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This entry was published on September 23, 2012 at 03:29. It’s filed under Introduction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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