We should have asked. We had noticed the young man standing by the sidewalk – not so much in the middle of the walkway, but on the edge, somewhat nonchalantly, looking around – crisp cream shirt, black trousers. He stood in front of a quiet, understated entrance whose signage we did not initially see; we also didn’t want to gawk and only glanced in its direction (we thought it could have been someone’s residence). We should have just asked, “Sumimasen, Kichisen wa, dochira desu ka?” (Excuse me, where is Kichisen, please?)
It took us an hour by Kyoto’s city bus to get to Kichisen on the other side of the city, approximately the same time estimated by Google walking directions. It’s a good thing that we left the Shunkoin Guest House with plenty of time.