Gion

Gion, Kyoto: Address, Phone Number, Gion Reviews: 4.5/5

Neighborhoods • Points of Interest & Landmarks • Scenic Walking Areas
About
The most famous neighborhood in Kyoto is also known as the Geisha district. It is here, among the tea houses and private clubs, that you can catch a glimpse of a geisha in full dress including white makeup.
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The area
Neighborhood: Gion
Gion is Kyoto's famed Geisha District (called "Geiko" in Kyoto). Though Gion's many tea houses and entertainment restaurants are closed to foreigners, Geiko and Maiko in their traditional makeup with gilded hair in full kimono can be seen drifting the streets on their way to and from work, where they fan dance, sing, and play instruments for customers. Gion lights up at night, when the ancient-looking streets glow with lanterns along the river, where weeping willows catch the starlight and the air is warmed with conversation. Groups pass through to populate the restaurants and bars along the riverfront, but Gion still manages to be a mostly quiet district, due in large part to limited automotive traffic through many of its streets. Gion is a wonderful place to indulge in Kyoto's local and customary cuisines, and is best enjoyed after dark.
Popular mentions

4.5
7,275 reviews
Excellent
3,454
Very good
2,719
Average
930
Poor
136
Terrible
36

jarmwr40
British Columbia, Canada3,110 contributions
a unique strolling area, day or night.
Oct 2020
our most likely last visit to kyoto and japan.
a wonderful trip doing the kumano kodo hike after visiting hiroshima and takamatsu.
from kyoto we did a walk from magome to tsumago and then onto matsumoto.
all wonderful.
we spent the day with a good friend who showed us her fav temples and then came along here after for a quick stroll on our way home.
had been to gion years ago, at night which really does lend itself to a different experience with the lanterns lit and the quiet sake bars and pub like izakayas.
2 districts, remains famous for the preservation of its traditional architecture and entertainment.
it stretches from the kamo-gawa river to the yasaka-jinja shrine.
and we did see geisha, a once in lifetime experience.
we came here in oct. 2019 and with covid hitting its taken me this long to send in my experiences from this trip.
a great spot to explore, day or night.
Written February 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Romain_ZH
Zurich, Switzerland81 contributions
Lively neighborhood of Kyoto
Dec 2020
I was glad to stay in this neighborhood, convenient to visit Kyoto and offering a lot of restaurants and bars for evening activities.
Written January 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

book_of_dreams
Australia141 contributions
Atmospheric ...late at night
Dec 2019
Gion is very pretty and culturally and historically significant. It does get crowded with tourists all day and that included us. It can make it difficult to enjoy some things but it is certainly an area worth seeing. I found going out later at night was more interesting. The crowds had gone and in the cold winter air we felt the local atmosphere more perhaps, the place felt like it had secrets, mystery and it was calm and beautiful, part form respectful hushed voices in the alleyways. We even spotted a couple of Geisha. I would say, stay up very late for a fresh atmosphere.
Written August 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Della G
Coquitlam, Canada808 contributions
Gion District
Dec 2019
I have visited this district both during the day and evening and trying to catch a glimpse of a geisha is next to impossible. Putting that aside, this is one of Kyoto's most famous neighborhoods. It is most unique in that the buildings still maintain the old traditional architecture of old Japan. I don't know where the average Japanese citizen would venture into the local bars and restaurants where the geisha services are summon for business patrons. I don't imagine that many women frequent the bars, probably more so on a special tour. A stroll through this area in the evening is most entrancing, dimly lantern lit buildings and streets adds to the mystique of an era gone by. Definitely a must see when in Kyoto.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Safariholic
Horsham, UK1,926 contributions
They say and claim it as a Must and I agree
Sep 2019
Take the Guided Walking Tour from the bridge - Free but you tip him/her at the end.

Interesting to hear the truth about Geishas - the Costs, Adoption, Rules, Training, Strictures etc etc - and to explode a few myths.

The Gion area is quite close to Town and an easy walk around a quaint neighbourhood of narrow streeets of very old classic Japanses architecture, with a smattering of real genuine Gieshas, and quite a few Tourists in Rented Kimono's (Japanese and others) doing Photoshoots for Weddings, Graduation Ceremonies, significant Birthdays, PR Stunts etc aswell as the throng doing selfies 24/7.

To add to this were 2/3 TV crews shooting films or TV scenes.

Busy at all times, but allegedly peak is late afternoon / early evening when the light is at its best.

Very pleasant, informative, enjoyable way to pass a few hours.
Written July 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

coco h
122 contributions
Beautiful
Aug 2019 • Family
Beautiful & traditional suburb
Just walking around is so exotic
I personally like the little shallow creek in Gion
Written July 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

StripeyMiata
Lisburn, UK634 contributions
A step back in time
Jul 2019
Building wise there is historic tea houses, willow-lined roads, kaiseki restaurants and ryokan which are beautiful. But this is also the place you can spot a geisha.
Written June 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joshua B
West Bloomfield, MI2,953 contributions
What an amazing experience!!!
Feb 2020 • Family
Goon is one of my favorite places.
It was very authentic experience...
It has beautiful little shops with great selection of gift items, at the same time you can taste local Japanese street food... very delicious 😋
It is amazing to experience the atmosphere of Japanese people. Many are wearing traditional Kimonos.. it is so beautiful 😍
There are some beautiful shrines at this district as well.
A must visit when you in Kyoto!
Written April 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

patrickperbkk
Perth, Australia1,220 contributions
Must visit!
May 2019
Very impressed with the area, many small alleys, lots of bars and restaurants.
Great atmosphere with the old Japanese Traditional buildings. People were friendly and polite too:-)
Written April 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chris C
Duncan, Canada30 contributions
Underwhelming
Mar 2020
We expected such great things from this historic Kyoto district, but the main street was ALL about shopping, side streets were too "new" looking and people who actually LIVE here are deeply resentful of the onslaught of tourists - we even saw a number of signs saying "do not take pictures".... it was also very difficult to find a restaurant for dinner, not that many remained open after 6pm. So, all in all, disappointing. Even Yasanka Shrine, at the end of the main street, although striking with its' gorgeous red paint, was just a chaotic, touristy zoo. And any "geisha" or "maiko" that you see aren't real, it's just a bunch of young Japanese woman that rent their kimonos for the day - there were rental shops everywhere. We felt it was all just very fake and touristy.
Written March 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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