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Gion Kyoto tourist destinations

A list of recommended tourist spots near Malligraphy (Japanese calligraphy Kyoto) in Kyoto.


Keihan line Gion-Shijo Station

Kyoto City Bus Shijo-Keihanmae Busstop

Kyoto City Bus Gion Busstop


 Gion, located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, is one of the most famous geisha districts in Japan. Known for its traditional wooden machiya houses, teahouses, and charming streets, Gion offers a unique glimpse into Japan’s rich cultural heritage.

This is Yasaka Shurine.

Malligraphy (Japanese calligraphy workshop studio) is also located in Gion , Kyoto.

So I will introduce many sightseeing spots in Gion 


<History and Culture>

Gion’s history dates back to the Heian period (794-1185) when it developed as a town around Yasaka Shrine. Initially catering to pilgrims, the area evolved into a bustling entertainment district by the Edo period (1603-1868). Today, Gion is synonymous with geisha culture, where you can witness the timeless elegance of maiko (apprentice geisha) and geiko (fully-trained geisha).


<Must-See Attractions>

 1. Yasaka Shrine: A Shinto shrine at the heart of Gion, Yasaka Shrine is famous for its role in the Gion Matsuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated festivals. The shrine is a beautiful place to explore and offers a tranquil escape from the bustling streets.
 2. Hanami-koji Street: This iconic street is lined with preserved machiya houses, many of which are now high-end restaurants and teahouses. Strolling down Hanami-koji, you might catch a glimpse of a maiko heading to an engagement.
 3. Gion Corner: For those interested in traditional Japanese arts, Gion Corner offers nightly performances featuring tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower arranging), koto (Japanese harp), and geisha dances.
 4. Shirakawa Area: Known for its picturesque canal and weeping willow trees, Shirakawa is a charming area perfect for a peaceful walk. The stone-paved streets and historic buildings create a timeless atmosphere.

<Seasonal Highlights>

 • Cherry Blossoms in Spring: Gion is breathtaking in the spring when cherry blossoms bloom along the streets and around Yasaka Shrine. The sight of pink petals against the traditional architecture is unforgettable.
 • Gion Matsuri in Summer: Held every July, the Gion Matsuri is one of Kyoto’s largest and most famous festivals. The festival features elaborate floats, traditional music, and lively street processions.
 • Autumn Leaves: In the fall, Gion transforms with the vibrant colors of autumn leaves. The area around Yasaka Shrine and the nearby Maruyama Park are particularly beautiful during this season.

<Dining and Shopping>

Gion offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional kaiseki (multi-course) meals to casual izakayas (Japanese pubs). For a unique experience, consider dining at a teahouse where you might be entertained by a geisha.

Shopping in Gion is also a delight, with numerous boutiques selling traditional crafts, souvenirs, and sweets. Be sure to visit the historic Ichiriki Teahouse, a symbol of Gion’s geisha culture.


Visiting Gion is like stepping back in time to ancient Japan. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, enjoying traditional performances, or simply soaking in the atmosphere, Gion offers a rich and immersive cultural experience. Enjoy your visit to this enchanting part of Kyoto!

<Gion Matsuri>

Gion is renowned for the Gion Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s largest and most famous festivals. Originating in 869 as a purification ritual to ward off plagues, the festival is now held every July. The highlight is the grand parade of elaborate floats, known as “yamaboko,” which attracts visitors from all over Japan and abroad.

<Geisha Culture>

Gion is also famous for its geisha, known locally as “maiko” (apprentice geisha) and “geiko” (fully-fledged geisha). These women are skilled in traditional Japanese arts, including dance and music, and provide entertainment at private banquets. Visitors to Gion may catch a glimpse of maiko gracefully walking along the streets in their beautiful kimonos.

Modern Gion

Today, Gion is a captivating blend of tradition and modernity. It boasts historic buildings and temples alongside sophisticated restaurants and boutiques. The area is particularly beautiful in the spring with cherry blossoms and in the fall with vibrant autumn leaves.

Gion offers a unique opportunity to experience the charm of old Kyoto, making it a special destination for tourists. Whether you’re exploring its historic sites, enjoying traditional performances, or simply strolling through its picturesque streets, Gion promises an unforgettable experience.

​For those who want to know more     about Gion

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