Kyoto, the cultural capital of Japan, may be well known for its grand old temples and stately imperial villas, but one long-time resident decided to shine the spotlight on the beauty of the city's more humble architecture.

About a year ago, photographer and founder of Kyoto Journal magazine, John Einarsen, began shooting an Instagram series called "Small Buildings of Kyoto" on his iPhone during his daily bicycle journeys around town. He has since taken over 200 images of homes, businesses, workshops, as well as the odd neighborhood shrine and teahouse -- each one brimming with personality and charm. We told him we really ought to compile a book out of some of these photos. And that's just what he did.

More info: Instagram

#1

Red Roses On A Gray Day

Red Roses On A Gray Day

kyotojournal Report

Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As someone who doesn't like roses, I find this rather beautiful.

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#2

Home On Big Street

Home On Big Street

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Jahnabi
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

woww. It doesn't need to have a big house bt a small one where there's love for you 😍💝

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#3

Small Clothing Shop In Traditional Home

Small Clothing Shop In Traditional Home

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#4

Cut Salon Nagahara

Cut Salon Nagahara

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Jahnabi
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

shape is interesting and the color given to it makes it illuminating😍👍

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#5

Odds-And-Ends Carpenter On Horikawa St

Odds-And-Ends Carpenter On Horikawa St

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#6

Kyoto Tsukemono (Pickle) Shop

Kyoto Tsukemono (Pickle) Shop

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#8

Aji-No-Tatehara Is Popular For Their Croquettes (West Of Kyoto Station)

Aji-No-Tatehara Is Popular For Their Croquettes (West Of Kyoto Station)

kyotojournal Report

#9

Airing Out Futon

Airing Out Futon

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Vivien Someya
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I still sleep on Japanese futon. Very comfortable.

#10

Blue Cut House

Blue Cut House

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#11

Shop Front

Shop Front

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#12

House With Hydrangeas

House With Hydrangeas

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#13

Kotobuki Industries

Kotobuki Industries

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#14

Hair Salon Yamashita

Hair Salon Yamashita

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#15

Corner Garden

Corner Garden

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#16

Potted Plants

Potted Plants

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#17

Esperanto Hall, The Place You Can Speak Esperanto In Kyoto

Esperanto Hall, The Place You Can Speak Esperanto In Kyoto

kyotojournal Report

#18

Chiffon Cake Cafe And Wedding Dress Shop

Chiffon Cake Cafe And Wedding Dress Shop

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Pemberton
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It seems becoming fashionable to turn old Japanese houses into a cafe.

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#19

Shimadai Gallery On Oike St

Shimadai Gallery On Oike St

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Pemberton
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It'd be perfect if there was a geisha in front of the building.

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#20

Traditional-Modern

Traditional-Modern

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#21

Garden Of Potted Plants

Garden Of Potted Plants

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Ana T.
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

in mexico people too in citys had potted plants sometimes in recycle containers like fruit tin cans or broken buckets

#22

Traditional Japanese Sweet Shop. They Must Have Two Boys Because Of The Two Koi-Nobori

Traditional Japanese Sweet Shop. They Must Have Two Boys Because Of The Two Koi-Nobori

kyotojournal Report

#23

Closed Tobacco Stand

Closed Tobacco Stand

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#24

Retro Kissaten Coffee Pocket With Matching Bike

Retro Kissaten Coffee Pocket With Matching Bike

kyotojournal Report

Pemberton
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Looks like a scene from a Ghibli movie or Shinkai movie.

#25

Urban Architecture

Urban Architecture

kyotojournal Report

#26

Rain Is Coming

Rain Is Coming

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#27

Kissa Apuriko

Kissa Apuriko

kyotojournal Report

Ged Maybury
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

'Apuriko'? (I read it twice on the awning - THEN looked at the title.) I believe it's a small clothing chain.

#28

Guesthouse Cafe With Pictures Of Audrey Hepburn Taped To Windows Of The Sliding Doors

Guesthouse Cafe With Pictures Of Audrey Hepburn Taped To Windows Of The Sliding Doors

kyotojournal Report

#29

Cute Small Building

Cute Small Building

kyotojournal Report

Milena Matic
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I like that the zebra crossing leads to the front door ...

#30

Trash Day

Trash Day

kyotojournal Report

Deborah R.
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That house looks very Western to me -- esp the design of the door and windows. But charming nonetheless.

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#33

Arai Tofu-Ten, The Neighborhood Tofu Shop

Arai Tofu-Ten, The Neighborhood Tofu Shop

kyotojournal Report

Milena Matic
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I notice pots and pots of plants everywhere... very nice ... where I am from, someone would have already broken them or stole them, or the dogs would pee on them....

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#34

Ikebana Tools Kanetaka

Ikebana Tools Kanetaka

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Aunt Messy
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That is a GORGEOUS shop. I could have spent a whole lot of money there. The tools are amazing and the quality is better than anything I've ever seen.

#35

Corner Newsstand Near Ginkakuji Temple

Corner Newsstand Near Ginkakuji Temple

kyotojournal Report

#36

Satellite Dishes On The This Boutique Look Like Mickey Mouse Ears; And Look At That Noren On The Right!

Satellite Dishes On The This Boutique Look Like Mickey Mouse Ears; And Look At That Noren On The Right!

kyotojournal Report

Bobby Clemente
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You have to be quite tall for that noren, LOL.

#37

Interesting Doorway

Interesting Doorway

kyotojournal Report

#38

Gray House

Gray House

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#39

Onigiriya-San

Onigiriya-San

kyotojournal Report

Bobby Clemente
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Onigiri FTW esp sea chicken, kombu, and umeboshi!

#40

Friends Of Machiya

Friends Of Machiya

kyotojournal Report

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#41

Cute Neighborhood Electric Shop

Cute Neighborhood Electric Shop

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#42

House With Sudare On Second Floor To Block Strong South Sun

House With Sudare On Second Floor To Block Strong South Sun

kyotojournal Report

#43

Hirata Meat Shop

Hirata Meat Shop

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#44

Store Front

Store Front

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#45

Defunct Rubber Boot Shop Kobeya, Which Was The #1 Cheapest In Japan!

Defunct Rubber Boot Shop Kobeya, Which Was The #1 Cheapest In Japan!

kyotojournal Report

#46

Blue And Orange Curtains

Blue And Orange Curtains

kyotojournal Report

Pudingovina
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe they are a Portal fans! :)

#47

Royal

Royal

kyotojournal Report

#48

Coffee Shop Mitsuwa On 7th Ave

Coffee Shop Mitsuwa On 7th Ave

kyotojournal Report