Situated in the scenic area of Higashiyama, Gion is a traditional entertainment district in Kyoto. Nowadays, it is a well-known attraction in Kyoto, and a must-see place for many tourists wishing to spot a geisha. During the day, the traditional Japanese restaurants and teahouses of this area serve as a place of relaxation, and visitors may often encounter geishas passing by. However, the evening is when this place really comes to life. You can expect to meet geisha and maiko here, or you could head to Gion Corner to watch a traditional art performance.
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Want to feel the old Japanese atmosphere? Toppers can visit the next Japanese tourist destination, the Gion District in Kyoto.
In this area there are rows of food stalls and teahouses that still look like old traditional Japanese shops. Not only that, another attraction of this Japanese tourist attraction is the presence of Japanese women who dress like Geisha and Maiko in this area. Initially developed as an area to meet the needs of travelers, Gion has developed into one of the most famous and exclusive geisha districts in the area all over Japan. While it's not as busy as it used to be, Gion is still an amazing district to see the geisha sights while strolling around the district.
Located in the heart of Kyoto, Gion can be easily found along Shijo Street next to the Kamo River and Yasaka Shrine. Here, in this traditional area, you can find many old-style buildings and houses called Machiya and Ochaya, which roughly translates to town housing and tea houses.
However, Gion is most famous for its geisha culture, which is said to have originated here. Geisha are Japanese women who have studied the traditions of art, dancing, singing, and more. They are famous for their traditional dress and makeup.
In Kyoto, they are known as Geiko, which translates to "Women of Art". In this Gion, you can sometimes see them walking around, but they sometimes like to frown when asked to take a photo together. So avoid asking for a photo together.
If you want to watch a geisha perform, you can visit almost any ochaya in the Gion district. Here they perform various dances, songs, and in some places, will even play games with you.
Apart from geishas, Gion is also famous for having plenty of bars, restaurants, clubs and other nightlife for locals and tourists alike to enjoy. There are also many shopping areas along Shijo dori, where you can find various kinds of sweets, handicrafts, and local souvenirs.
An unspoiled historical alley lined with tasteful, traditional wooden houses that invokes a feeling of Good ol’ Kyoto — Ninenzaka slope is perfect for a culture walk in Japan. Located in Gion district, this charming stone-paved pedestrian road is also an approach to the famous Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
These gentle, narrow sloping road is surrounded with Japanese traditional wooden storefronts, shops, and teahouses. One of the most interesting stores here is the world’s first tatami-style Starbucks that’s located inside a 100-year old traditional Japanese townhouse along the historic Ninenzaka street. You can see that every effort has been taken to retain much of the original structure.
If you’re into traditional Japanese culture, there are also some shops that offer tea ceremony experience and even a Geisha makeover! 🇯🇵
Get teleported to another century in Gion area. The famous Geisha area in Kyoto which still runs the same for centuries! During the day, hundreds of people dress the Kimono for pictures and makes you feel you jumped in time. Is very touristic but still very lovely to explore.
João Miguel Silva
Even without a Ryokan reservation, a walk around Gion - especially at night - will transport you to another world. If in Kyoto do not miss this place for extra ordinary experience. Central to main attractions you can get immersed in this area. Full of private houses some converted to small restaurants. Also the training of Maiko’s who lead a private life in the various dormitories
Would recommend both walking through the small streets during the day and evening. Gion was part of the visit we had with Kyōto bike tour again recommended for all the additional information . If you want to really understand the beauty and history then go on one of the many guided tours ( not expensive.) It will tie in the buildings with the history of Gion. You can also just wonder around taking pictures too! So many places lit up that makes it a great day or night place to visit .... and felt totally safe.