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Gion district

Gion districtMap of GionGion is the main entertainment district in Kyoto.
It had developed as a shrine town of Yasaka Shrine, since the 17th century.

Shijo Street runs to the west from the west gate of Yasaka Shrine facing Higashi-oji Street, and Gion extends on both north and south sides of Shijo Street.
The north end is Shinbashi Street, and the width from north to south is about 200 meters.
The south end is Yasaka Street, and the width from north to south is about 600 meters.

And the western end is Kamo River. The width from east to west is about 500 meters.

From north to south, Hanami-koji Street runs in the center of this district.
So this district is divided into four zones by Shijo Street and Hanami-koji Street.
The northeast zone is called "Gion-Higashi" and the three other zones are called "Gion-Kobu". Each zone has a different Geisha and Maiko group.

Ken'ninji temple is in Gion-Kobu zone.

Kyoto, Gion district

There are many old Japanese restaurants and tea houses in this district.
The guests order Geisha and Maiko, and entertain themselves there.
Geisha houses in each zone send a team of Geisha and Maiko to the restaurants. They sing some songs, dance and entertain the guests.

But it is difficult for you to enjoy such entertainment.
Because they entertain only the regular guests and the guests introduced by them.

Geisha and Maiko work in this district, so we can sometmes find them.
Recently, many foreign visitors often surround them, take photos, and it is reported that some of them make advance to Maiko.
They are working. Watch them from far.

If you want to watch the performance by Geisha and Maiko, please visit Gion Corner in Yasaka-kaikan building.
It is a museum introducing Gion and Maiko, and a show introducing various Kyoto's performances such as dance by Maiko, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, Japanese harp, Bunraku (Japanese puppet show) and Gagaku (Japanese ancient court music) is held at 19:00 and 20:00 every day from March to November.

Gion Corner official website

As the open performance of the dance, "Miyako-Odori" is held for a month in April.
It is held in Gion-Kobu Kaburenjo theater, and has been held since 1872.
Several dances by many Maiko are performed based on a story, and it is very colorful and filled with Japanese atmosphere.
This event is very popular, then the tickets usually sell out early. To get the ticket, you had better ask any major travel agency to get the ticket by early March.

Miyako-Odori official website

Even if you walk around Gion district, you can enjoy the traditional Kyoto atmosphere.
Espcially Hanami-koji Street is nice.
And in the north part of Gion district, small Shirakawa River flows, and Shinbashi Street and Shirakawa Street are popular.

How to get to here

By route bus

From Kyoto station, about 21 minutes to Gion stop, by bus with route No. 206.

A street in Gion
Maiko in Gion
Hanami-koji street
Shirakawa River
Shirakawa-minami street
Tatsumi bridge
Photo by Koto-roman
A Japanese restaurant A tea house in Gion
Performance of Japanese harp in Gion Corner
Gion-Kobu Kaburenjo theater Miyako-Odori

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