Gion (Geisha district), Kyoto

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 47 Reviews

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • Gion (Geisha district)
    by Ewingjr98
  • Gion (Geisha district)
    by Ewingjr98
  • Gion (Geisha district)
    by Ewingjr98
  • yukisanto's Profile Photo

    Go for a walk in Gion

    by yukisanto Written Feb 1, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The walk to Kiyomizu temple
    1 more image

    People watching, or just soak in the atmosphere of the tradtional houses along your walk to the Kiyomizu temple. As you make your way up the rickety steps, and pop in to the tourist souvenir shops lining the path now and then, look around you and feel the old culture.

    About evening time, around 6pm, people start queuing up to see the Kiyomizu temple lighgted up at night. There's a different admission fee charged for you to see the lights. Me? I cn't stand the queue. Too much like those kiasu Singaporean queues..

    The Gion street area's a small road leading from the main street somewhere in the middle of Shijo street. There's a horse betting shop along that small street. From there, you can reach the hilly area to Kiyomizu temple after crossing the road.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo

    Gion Corner

    by Pixiekatten Updated Jan 17, 2007

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Me looking at Geisha paintings in Gion Corner.

    This is the place to experience old traditional Kyoto:

    Tea Ceremony
    Ikebana (Flower Arrangement)
    Koto Music (Japanese Harp)
    Gagaku (Ancient Court Music and Dance)
    Kyogen (Ancient Comedy)
    Kyo-mai (Kyoto Dance Performed by Maiko)
    Bunraku (Ancient Puppet Drama)

    Show Time:
    Daily 19:00 & 20:00 (2 performances a day)

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo

    GION - BY NIGHT

    by Pixiekatten Written Nov 18, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Yasaka shrine entrance at night.
    3 more images

    Gion is famous as the geisha district. To experience the traditional Gion, stroll along the narrow streets lined with teahouses and restaurants. In the evenings, you might even spot a maiko - a geisha apprentice.

    Yasaka Shrine is lit up and makes a great visit in the evening.

    Related to:
    • Backpacking
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Pixiekatten's Profile Photo

    GION - BY DAY

    by Pixiekatten Written Nov 18, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Traditional narrow alley in Gion II
    3 more images

    Gion is famous as the geisha district. To experience the traditional Gion, stroll along the narrow streets lined with teahouses and restaurants. In the evenings, you might even spot a maiko - a geisha apprentice.

    Yasaka Shrine and the Minamiza kabuki theater are some of Gion's other attractions.

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Arts and Culture
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • saracen's Profile Photo

    Go On Geisha Tour

    by saracen Written Oct 15, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Young Michael (sp?) Geisha

    These tours take you through the heart of old Kyoto, along the back streets of the geisha district, with your guide explaining the incredibly complex layers of geisha training, etiquette and tradition. Pick the right time and you may be lucky to catch one of the exquisitely attired ladies on her way to an important appointment.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • caravaggio's Profile Photo

    Gion corner

    by caravaggio Updated Jul 28, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well you can meet with the geishas in the narrow streets in Gion and also can taste the tea ceromony(chado) by them for 30.000 jy in some houses. I advice you to see a Bunraku in Gion..japanese puppet show for about 1000jy and you can have a chado in the same place nearly the same prize.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • CO-Chad's Profile Photo

    Miyako odori

    by CO-Chad Updated Apr 19, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Maiko in the Miyako odori
    2 more images

    As I queued up to hand over 4,300 yen (3,800 for the balcony or 1,900 for a spot on the tatami mats behind the balcony seats) I was prepared to call Miyako odori at Gion Kaburenjou a Tourist Trap. However, when I considered the dozens and dozens of Maiko (apprentice Geisha) dancing, singing, and performing on shamisen, taiko and shakuhachi, I decided it's really not that over-priced. Plus, how often does an ordinary person get to see Maiko performing? You can content yourself with quick glimpses of Geisha and the more ornately dressed Maiko on Pontocho and around Gion, or if you're willing to lay out a bit of money, see an elaborate one hour rendition of four traditional song-and-dance performances. The costumes alone are pretty amazing.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Theater Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Confucius's Profile Photo

    A Taste Of Real Japanese Culture At Gion Corner

    by Confucius Updated Dec 29, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Geisha kimono fashion shows are only one example of the traditional Japanese cultural performances that you can experience at Gion Corner. The geishas look exactly like those dolls you often see in the glass boxes decorating sushi restaurants in southern California.

    The one hour daily program also features samples of koto music, tea ceremony, ikebana flower arrangement, kyogen ancient comic skits, and a bunraku puppet play. I'm a big fan of kyogen, and have autographs of the most famous performers! It helps if you previously studied a little Japanese language in college, but if you drink six shots of sake before the show then it will all seem just as hilarious.

    If you are visiting Japan and only have a single day in Kyoto then this is one of the best choices for evening entertainment.

    Related to:
    • Theater Travel
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • Restless-in-kl's Profile Photo

    How to catch a geisha (catch a glimpse that is!)

    by Restless-in-kl Written Dec 23, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pretty maidens

    When you come to Gion which is known as the geisha district, you would surely want to see them in the streets. It's too expensive to catch their performance in the restaurants as a meal per person can be as much as US$200!

    With the Lonely Planet guide advising us to be in Gion at 6pm to catch geishas going to work, I was there promptly for 2 nights but no such luck. Then on our last day, we decided to go to Gion at 3pm for tea and as soon as we got down from our taxi, there they were all 3 of them!

    So, to catch a geisha or 3, go to Gion at 3pm and check out the smaller streets which hides the old streets of Gion. They are worth just catching a glimpse!

    The old streets of Gion is also very pretty and historic. Check out my travelogue for more pix.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Trains
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • baldmike's Profile Photo

    See traditional Japan

    by baldmike Updated Dec 19, 2005

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Beautiful setting in the center of the Gion district. The maple leaves are breathtaking in the Autumn and Cherry trees in full bloom during the spring give you a true sense of ancient Kyoto. Visit this area after 7:00PM and you'll most likely be able to see numerous Geishas.

    Was this review helpful?

  • ChuckG's Profile Photo

    Gion district and stone paved roads

    by ChuckG Updated Dec 16, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Stone paved roads

    The Gion district is across the river from the main downtown. It's a beautiful well-preserved area which has kept the same atmosphere for a long time. There are numerous temples in that small area and the many stoned paved roads lined up with tiny inns, restaurants and shops.

    Although it's supposed to be the Geisha district, I haven't seen many. This aspect is overrated.

    Was this review helpful?

  • konniemario's Profile Photo

    Shopping, eating and spot a geisha!

    by konniemario Written Oct 15, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Real geisha

    Gion is one minute walk away from Keihan Shijo Station and is famous for entertainment, shopping, eating and spotting a geisha. It's a mixture of modern architecture, congested traffic, contemporary nightlife and old wooden houses. We had a stroll there on our first night and felt in love with some of the narrow streets there with the yellow lights and red lanterns hanging outside. We were told that those places are where geisha and maiko's learn their craft and if we're lucky, we can spot one or two on their way to their appointments, especially on a weekend. And guess what, we did spot a couple of them! Pop in one of those small restaurants and I'm sure you won't be disappointed either.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    Meet a Geisha in Gion

    by AKtravelers Written Sep 4, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Picking up women in Kyoto?

    There are two ways to meet a Geisha in Kyoto. One way is to pay through the nose for a geisha evening, which is expensive even by Japanese standards. Needless to say, I chose the second way, which is to make sure that you're in the Gion District between the hours of 5:00 and 6:30 p.m., where you'll catch the geishas heading to their evening employment. Even though they must be in a hurry, I have never had them say "no" when I've asked for a picture.

    By the way, if you pose next to them in a photo, be prepard to explain that the geishas wear very elevated shoes -- otherwise people think you shrunk while you were in Kyoto.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ines28's Profile Photo

    Geiko / Maiko madness

    by Ines28 Written Jul 27, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Maiko

    Gion is the place to go around 6 or 7 pm, when there is a good chance to get one or two glimpes of (mostly) maikos on their way to appointments. We heard from other people it wouldn't be self-evident to see one and that it needs some luck, so we were very excited when the first maiko appeared. She wasn't the last, though! It was fantastic to see an important and old part of the Japanese traditions. Sometimes I felt like papparazzi, but if you want to take home some beautiful pictures you have to put this feeling aside! ;-)
    Gion itself has maintained much of its historical beauty despite the modern architecture and the congested traffic. To outsiders, it remains mysterious and we kept wondering what was hidden behind the closed wooden doors with the divided curtains.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • ClareyD's Profile Photo

    The search for Geishas

    by ClareyD Written Apr 2, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Maiko

    Whilst we were unsuccessful in locating any Geishas in early evening in Gion, we were quite surprised when we went down Pontocho alley (a small alleyway lined with teahouses and traditional restaurants)around 6-7pm due to the amount of Geisha/Maiko we saw moving from one teahouse to another within the space of about 10-15 mins however the difficult thing is taking a picture. The only warning sign you get is the clip clop of the wooden clogs so you need to listen very carefully, they move very fast and so quickly the photo opportunity has gone. To get a picture you need to be both patient and lucky, quite crazily it almost feels like you are a member of the paparazzi.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Kyoto

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

101 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Gion (Geisha district)
3.5 out of 5 stars
55 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
55 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
10 Opinions
0.1 miles away
Show Prices

View all Kyoto hotels