Ichiriki Teahouse, Kyoto

Ichiriki Teahouse, Kyoto

Known as the "geisha area", Gion exudes an aura of bygone eras with its impeccably preserved wooden houses. Tucked away in a corner of Shijo and Hanamikoji streets, just a stone's throw from the Yasaka Shrine, stands the imposing red walls of Ichiriki, a teahouse steeped in over 300 years of history. Renowned as one of the most exclusive establishments in the district, Ichiriki has catered to the elite, offering geisha entertainment strictly by invitation. Yet, its legacy extends far beyond the glamorous facade.

During the tumultuous 19th century, this famous teahouse served as a clandestine meeting place for revolutionary samurai warriors, clandestinely plotting the downfall of the shogun's reign—a plot that would alter the course of Japanese history. A century earlier, Ichiriki played a pivotal role in the legendary saga of the 47 Ronin, one of Japan's most renowned tales of loyalty, truth, and revenge.

The saga unfolded in 1701 within the walls of Edo Castle, igniting from a clash of egos between two hotheaded noblemen, Kira Yoshinaka and Asano Naganori. Asano, pushed beyond tolerance by Kira's insults, drew his sword in a futile attempt to slay his adversary, a transgression against the code of honor that ended in his ritual suicide ('seppuku'). Left masterless, Asano's loyal retainers—now "ronin"—embarked on a covert mission of vengeance. Disguising their intentions, they patiently bided their time, dispersing across the land while feigning apathy. Their leader, Oishi Kuranosuke, assumed the guise of a dissolute gambler, spending his days in the Ichiriki, masking his true purpose. Finally, after years of planning, the ronin struck with precision, exacting their revenge on Kira and fulfilling their solemn vow. Despite facing the ultimate consequence of ritual suicide, their valor and sacrifice elevated them to legendary status, immortalizing both their tale and the legacy of Ichiriki teahouse for generations to come.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Kyoto. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Ichiriki Teahouse on Map

Sight Name: Ichiriki Teahouse
Sight Location: Kyoto, Japan (See walking tours in Kyoto)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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.
Walk on Philosopher's Path

Walk on Philosopher's Path

The Philosopher's Path in Kyoto winds its way for about 2 km along the canal that carries water from Lake Biwa to the foothills. Lined with cherry trees, this picturesque walking trail was named in honor of the famed Japanese philosopher, Nishida Kitaro, who used to walk here as a part of his daily meditation in the first half of the 20th century. A popular spot for both locals and tourists,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Kyoto Shopping and Food Tour

Kyoto Shopping and Food Tour

The cultural capital of Japan, Kyoto is just as famous as a shopper’s paradise and, without a doubt, the best place in the country to buy traditional and modern Japanese goods. Souvenirs, food, bargains, and various “one-of-a-kind items” are all up for grabs here.

In addition to its shopping scene, Kyoto boasts a rich culinary heritage, from Michelin-starred restaurants to humble street...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Higashiyama Walking Tour

Higashiyama Walking Tour

Kyoto is a city catering to tourists, especially those who love history, religion, and, of course, Japanese culture. Many of Kyoto's attractions are found in the eastern part of the city, which itself is split into wards. One of them is the Higashiyama Ward, home to several famous temples, where the look and the feel of feudal-era Japan are still preserved.

One of Higashiyama's most...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles
Gion District Walking Tour

Gion District Walking Tour

Famed as one of the most mesmerizing parts of Kyoto, Gion has long been associated with traditional Japanese entertainment, stunning temples, geishas, and local eateries, ideal for whiling away a day in the ancient capital of Japan. This district forms part of the Higashiyama (“Eastern Mountain”) neighborhood.

Among its notable landmarks is the Minamiza Kabuki Theater, a venue where...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Arashiyama and Bamboo Grove Walking Tour

Arashiyama and Bamboo Grove Walking Tour

The Arashiyama district of Kyoto is slightly out of the way for tourists, but that means you can enjoy it more comfortably.

Undoubtedly, the most popular attraction here is the iconic Bamboo Grove, a mesmerizing forest of towering bamboo stalks that sway gently in the breeze, creating an ethereal atmosphere. This serene setting is a must-visit for travelers seeking tranquility amidst...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Imperial Kyoto Walking Tour

Imperial Kyoto Walking Tour

The former capital of Japan, Kyoto is the city of tradition. During its heyday, Imperial Kyoto was the cultural and political heart of the country. At the heart of its historical landscape, there are several iconic landmarks, each bearing witness to the city's imperial past.

Nijo Castle, an architectural marvel renowned for its elegant design and elaborate gardens, boasts impeccably...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

18 Japanese Products To Bring Home from Kyoto

The old capital of Japan, the city of Kyoto has once again been the talk of the world lately, thanks to the bestselling "Memoirs of a Geisha" book and the namesake Hollywood blockbuster movie. Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship, Japan has so much to amaze a foreign eye with. Many of...