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.
temple, sightSeeing and culture
Observe traditional Shinto architecture, pretty lanterns and sacred rituals at this historic shrine, home of the annual Gion Festival and Kyoto’s favorite cherry blossom park.
Visit this Zen Buddhism temple for a slice of history, art and tranquility. It is said that the temple is the oldest of its kind in Kyoto.
Imagine life as it was during the Taisho Period as you explore this preserved Kyoto alley, complete with traditional teahouses, inns and kimono-clad hostesses.
With a National Licensed and Experienced English speaking guide, this short trip is a fantastic and great value way of experiencing Gion district! We are here to help you discover new things, places and experiences in Gion.
Our Kyoto Night Food Tour through Gion and Shirakawa is a celebration of Japanese traditional culture and Kaiseki cuisine. A multi-course, multi-flavored Japanese dinnerthat flawlessly mixes global and local flavors to produce some of the most delicious dishes on the planet.
Kyoto's magical atmosphere twinkles to life as the sun goes down, when bright neon lights glow alongside paper lanterns. Set out with a guide to experience the city by night, scoping out age-old shrines, admiring modern art and long-standing structures, and sampling some of the city's best street food.
We'll walk around the Gion area and head to the first izakaya. On the streets, we'll see many old Kyoto-style buildings with machiya architecture, as well as tea houses. At the first location, we'll enjoy Kyoto vegetables or meats with simple seasoning in order to taste the ingredient's pure flavors.
You and no more than five others will explore the local foods and entertainment districts of Kyoto on a not-so-standard, all-inclusive walking and eating nighttime tour! You'll mingle with locals, eat regional specialties at two different standing bar/restaurants, and be given a visual feast of a primer on the various nightlife scenes in Kyoto, from geiko (a.
Enjoy a walking tour of Pontocho and Gion Shirakawa, two of Kyoto’s most charming and historic areas.Travel back in time to enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes in this rustic neighborhood. Discover tea houses, restaurants, and charming sights to see around every corner.
From the serenity of ancient shrines to the electric lights of Akihabara, here are some sustainable tourism tips for being a responsible traveler in Japan.
With its ancient palaces and vibrant cherry blossom, a weekend in Kyoto promises a magical journey to the heart of Japan.
Matcha ice cream, vegan ramen, and a bar hopping Izakaya adventure await you in Kyoto.