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Gion

Experience a traditional tea ceremony or a night of cultural entertainment within the historic wooden teahouses of this well-preserved Kyoto district.

Gion is a historic district in Kyoto, known for its geisha culture, wooden teahouses, shops and restaurants. Situated between the beautiful Yasaka Shrine and the Kamo River, Gion is characterized by its historic teahouses, many of which have been transformed into boutique shops and fine-dining restaurants. Explore this district by day to shop for local items like candy, pickles and handmade souvenirs, or by night for a chance to catch a glimpse of the elusive geisha experience.

Begin your exploration of Gion in Hanamikoji Street, a strip with side alleys filled with preserved teahouses and traditional wooden façades. Shirakawa is another interesting area alongside the canal of the same name. This quiet canal-side district is near Shijo Avenue and has a selection of upscale restaurants and bars that look out onto the canal’s willow trees.

A good way to experience some of Gion’s cultural attractions is to see a show at Gion Corner. These foreigner-friendly shows demonstrate a selection of traditional Japanese arts, including tea ceremonies, puppet theater, flower arranging, dance performances and comedy plays.

Visitors with Japanese connections or a ticket with a tour company may be able to spend an evening in a traditional teahouse with entertainment lead by a geisha. Geishas, or Japanese hostesses, traditionally provide the evening’s drinks and performances of music and dance.

Gion is also the home of the Yasaka Shrine and its Gion Matsuri Festival, a popular festival that takes place every July at the famous Shinto shrine and other sites on the opposite banks of the Kamo River.

Reach Gion by bus from Kyoto Station within 20 minutes. You can also catch a train to Gion Shijo Station or Kawaramachi Station. Spend a day or two exploring Gion and its surrounding districts of Kiyomizudera and Higashiyama. A leisurely 30-minute walking route connects these areas via historic alleys and the Yasaka Shrine.


Guide to Exploring Gion


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$150
Kyoto Granbell Hotel

Kyoto Granbell Hotel

27 Yamatocho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
4.9
of 5, from 8 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kenninji Temple, Kiyomizu Temple, and Gion Corner. Sanjusangendo Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$61
Rinn Gion Bishamon

Rinn Gion Bishamon

44-24 Bishamoncho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
4.6
of 5, from 8 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Kenninji Temple and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$137
Hotel Ethnography Gion Shinmonzen

Hotel Ethnography Gion Shinmonzen

Nishino-cho 219-2, Higashiyama-ku, Gion, Kyoto
4.5
of 5, from 2 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tourist Information Center and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Nijo Castle are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$82
APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT

APA Hotel Kyoto Gion EXCELLENT

555, Minamigawa, Gionmachi, Kyoto
3.5
of 5, from 113 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$137
Kyoto Inn Gion

Kyoto Inn Gion

435, Rinkacho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
4.9
of 5, from 19 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km).

Yoshi-Ima

Yoshi-Ima

Yamatoohji Higashi-iru Nishinocho 229, Kyoto
5.0
of 5, from 4 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this ryokan is within 1 mi (2 km) of Kenninji Temple, Gion Corner, and Heian Shrine. Kiyomizu Temple and Nijo Castle are also within 2 mi (3 km).

BOOK AND BED TOKYO -KYOTO - Hostel

BOOK AND BED TOKYO -KYOTO - Hostel

200 Nakano-cho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
4.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this hostel is within a 10-minute walk of Kyoto Tourist Information Center and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Sanjusangendo Temple are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$230
Gion Fukuzumi Inn

Gion Fukuzumi Inn

Shinbashi Nishi-Iru, Higashi-Oji, Kyoto
4.7
of 5, from 6 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Gion, this ryokan is within a 10-minute walk of Yasaka Shrine and Gion Corner. Kiyomizu Temple and Heian Shrine are also within 1 mi (2 km).

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