Gion District (Kyoto) Show mapShow gallery

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  • Gion District In Kyoto

  • Gion District In Kyoto

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  • Gion District In Kyoto

  • Gion District In Kyoto

  • Gion District In Kyoto

  • Gion District In Kyoto

  • Kenninji Temple Gion District Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

  • Kenninji Temple Gion District Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

  • Kenninji Temple Gion District Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

  • Kenninji Temple Gion District Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

  • Gion District In Kyoto

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Facts & Figures

The Gion district in Kyoto is the most famous geisha district in Japan. Walk along the old traditional wooden machiya merchant houses and enjoy the Edo times atmosphere. The chances are high that you will see a geisha. They call themselve geiko (local term for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices). One of the most popular tea houses (ochaya) where geiko perform is the Ichiriki Chaya. Entrance is only allowed by recommandation from an existing customer. Gion has two geiko communities (hanamachi) Gion Higashi and Gion Kobu.

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History

The Gion district developed as a settlement for the Yasaka-jinja Shrine during the Middle Ages. Some parts of the area received the status of a national historical preservation district.

Location Show map

Gion is located between Yasaka Shrine (east of Shijo Avenue) and the river Kamo (west of Shijo Avenue) in Kyoto.

How to get to Gion district?

  • 20min from Kyoto Station to Gion bus stop by bus number 100 and 206 or
  • 1min walk from Gion Shijo Station served by Keihan Main Line

Sightseeing spots

Top:

Shijo Avenue - popular shopping area

Shirakawa Area - walk along the Shirakawa Canal and visit some of the best restaurants and ochaya (teahouses) in town

Hanami-koji Street - the street lined with old preserved machiya houses between Shijo Avenue and Kenninji Temple is the highlight and must-see for every visitor

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

April

Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).

May

Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

July

Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).

October

Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

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