Gion District Place guide

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Kyoto

Gion District

Located at the heart of Central Kyoto, Gion is known for being the entertainment and geisha quarter.

About

Where to See Kyoto’s Geishas

Located at the heart of Central Kyoto, Gion is known for being the entertainment and geisha quarter. It was originally a site for tea houses during the Edo Period, a time when two iconic forms of traditional Japanese entertainment — the kabuki and the geisha — emerged. By the mid-18th century the area was Kyoto’s largest pleasure district. 

Gion is now a shrine to Kyoto's cultural past: the streets are lit by traditional lanterns and lined with 17th-century wooden machiya houses that have been transformed into restaurants, shops, and other businesses. The district is packed with restaurants serving traditional Kyoto cuisine, as well as temples, shrines and kabuki theaters. You can even have a traditional tea ceremony experiencewithin the charming neighbourhood. 

“Geisha Kyoto” in Gion have been the center of curiosity for many tourists, on the radar as one of the “must” things to do in Kyoto. The geisha or geiko, as they refer to themselves, are Japanese women who are highly trained in the arts of music, dance and entertaining. As expert hostesses, they entertain patrons of the tea houses by providing food and drink, engaging in light conversation, and performing traditional music and dance. 

Although it may seem like the ultimate Kyoto travel experience, services of geiko are quite expensive and exclusive. You might have to content yourself with glimpses of geiko and maiko (geisha in training) on the streets of Gion in the evenings. 

Keep in mind: there is a certain etiquette in engaging with geishas, so if you spot them, act respectfully.

Get around

The best way to experience Gion is with an evening stroll around the atmospheric streets, which feels like being transported back in time.

Tours near Gion District

Kyoto Gion Night Walk Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

3hs4.6

Kyoto Gion Night Walk Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

Kyoto, Japan

from

$48/person

Kyoto Imperial Palace & Nijo Castle Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

3hs4.4

Kyoto Imperial Palace & Nijo Castle Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

Kyoto, Japan

from

$50/person

Kyoto Nishiki Market & Depachika: 2-hours Food Tour with a Local

2hs4.6

Kyoto Nishiki Market & Depachika: 2-hours Food Tour with a Local

Kyoto, Japan

from

$45/person

Kyoto Fushimi Inari Taisha Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

3hs4.7

Kyoto Fushimi Inari Taisha Small Group Guided Walking Tour - 3 Hour

Kyoto, Japan

from

$27/person

Kyoto's Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: 3-Hour Guided Tour

3hs4.7

Kyoto's Arashiyama Bamboo Grove: 3-Hour Guided Tour

Kyoto, Japan

from

$49/person

Kyoto Golden Temple & Zen Garden: 2.5-Hour Guided Tour

3hs5.0

Kyoto Golden Temple & Zen Garden: 2.5-Hour Guided Tour

Kyoto, Japan

from

$49/person

Nara Adventure from Kyoto: Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara Park & More – Full Day

8hs4.5

Nara Adventure from Kyoto: Todaiji, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara Park & More – Full Day

Kyoto, Japan

from

$60/person

Kyoto Bicycle Adventure Tour – 4 Hrs

4hs5.0

Kyoto Bicycle Adventure Tour – 4 Hrs

Kyoto, Japan

from

$50/person

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