Gion District, Kyoto

Gion District, Kyoto

The Gion District in Kyoto is the location where the traditional Japanese entertainers called the Geisha and their apprentices called Maikos reside and entertain businessmen. The Kyoto word for Geisha is Geiko which means Women of Art.

The Gion District is located around Shijo Avenue in Kyoto between the Yasaka Shrine and the Kamo River. All the buildings that flank the streets are built in traditional Japanese style and are called Machiyas or Town Houses. Inside these are shops, restaurants and Ochayas - traditional Tea Houses where Geiko entertain customers. Gion has been a Geisha district since the 1500s. Part of the street has been declared a Historic Preservation District and the City of Kyoto has made efforts to preserve the traditional architecture by moving all overhead utilities underground.

Tourists flock to the Gion district today to catch site of a Geiko or Maiko en route to her engagement in full regalia. The district comes alive at night when patrons of the Ochayas come for their evening entertainment. A cultural show is held every day at the art center, called the Gion Corner, where tourists can view Geikos performing several traditional Japanese arts like tea ceremonies, dances and short comic plays. In April, the Miyako Odori festival, where Meiko perform traditional dances, is held here.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour in Kyoto, Japan, in the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded on iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline so no data plan is needed.

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Sight Map

Sight Name: Gion District
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) containing this sight: Higashiyama Area Walking Tour  

Walking Tours in Kyoto, Japan

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Create Your Own Walk in Kyoto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kyoto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Philosopher's Path Area Walk

Tetsugaku no Michi, or Philosopher's Walk, is a well-known route in Kyoto which starts at the famous Ginkaku-ji Temple and heads south to the Nanzen-ji Temple. It follows a stone path by a cherry-tree-lined canal that was once walked daily by Nishida Kitaro, a famous philosopher and professor at Kyoto University. The Philosopher's Walk passes by some major shrines and other places of interest of Kyoto making up this self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

Walking Tour in Shimogyo Ward

The ancient capital Kyoto embraces several aspects of Japanese culture, being packed with shrines, temples, museums and other interesting spots. Each ward of this city boasts its own cultural heritage, as does the Shimogyo area, located right in the heart of Kyoto. Discover Shimogyo's most popular attractions in the next self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 km
Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku Walking Tour

Ukyo-ku is one of the eleven wards of Kyoto and it comprises the northwestern corner of the city. This area contains a large number of important religious complexes, some of them listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous attractions of Ukyo-ku in Kyoto are selected and described in the next walking tour. So check it out and enjoy your Kyoto adventure.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 8.7 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 2

Souvenir Shopping Part 2

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.3 km
Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Higashiyama Area Walking Tour

Kyoto is a city made for tourists, especially the ones with love for history, interest in religion and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are located in the eastern part of the city, which, in turn, is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples of Kyoto, as well as the popular Gion geisha district. To find out more about Higashiyama, take this walking tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Souvenir Shopping Part 1

Souvenir Shopping Part 1

It would be a pity to leave Kyoto without having explored its specialty shops and bringing home something truly original. We've compiled a list of gifts and souvenirs, which are unique to Kyoto, that a visitor might like to purchase to reflect their visit.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.9 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

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