Gion Corner
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Friday
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
About
Dancing geishas, puppet shows and musical performances are just some of the regular events to be seen at this popular theater in Kyoto's entertainment district.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
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.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

3.0
3.0 of 5 bubbles532 reviews
Excellent
92
Very good
154
Average
121
Poor
83
Terrible
82

Ramnik B
41 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2023 • Friends
Very disappointing set of short performances overall. Everything said is in Japanese, tea making element was waste of time, jokers spoke in Japanese so pointless for mostly English speaking tourists who go to see the show. For the money charged the most disappointing activity we did in our two week tour across Japan. Out of the 14 group members that attended the performance all agreed it was very disappointing and not worth the price paid for the show.
Written September 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jason
New York City, NY35 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
We bought 2 premium tickets for a more comfortable viewing experience and expectation of a digital tablet that would provide detailed information and translations throughout the performance. The tablet did not work throughout the performance. We asked prior to the show that nothing was visible on the tablet, but were told that it would start working automatically during the performance. That never happened . In addition, nobody around us seemed to be able to use it. It was 50 minutes of sitting through the show without understanding anything that was going on. They did provide a English brochure and also a brief English announcement prior to each performance- each performance lasts for about 10 minutes. If you are OK with sitting through 50 minutes just to get a visual experience DO NOT buy the premium tickets and only by regular tickets. That way, at least you will not be disappointed.

We went into the show expecting some thing that we did not get in return. I pointed this out to the host after the show, but no one there seem to understand what I was complaining about. The host actually told us that the brochure is an English and we should just have read it. Did not seem to understand that our expectation was to understand the show in detail with digital tablet. They agreed to refund us the extra cost for premium tickets after an email.

Website is misleading and Not something I expect in Japan, where every other experience we had was above our expectation level. This place seemed to be more of a tourist trap. Go in with low expectations. I have attended other cultural shows in Japan, which actually provide much more understanding with English explanations. So would recommend skipping this and taking your business elsewhere.
Written October 8, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bernadette316
Southend-on-Sea, UK127 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
This is a reasonably priced way of experiencing some Japanese theatre, dance and music as well as geisha traditions. We had the regular seats and the information leaflet we were given was extremely helpful in providing a synopsis of each act. There are several short acts of different forms giving you a glimpse into this part of Japan’s cultural heritage.
Written August 25, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HLW648
Hilo, HI244 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
This is supposed to be an assortment of Japanese cultural presentations or acts. Frankly watching the tea ceremony from afar and watching someone arrange flowers for 5+ minutes (all with no commentary in English) is not my idea of a cultural “act”. There was no Noh, or Kabuki theater showcased. The music was often loud and irritating. The entire 45 minute program was simply poor. The only act that was at least partly interesting was the Bunraku poppetry. Still not worth what you pay for admission. Here’s a tip though, come out of the theater, turn right on the main street and there’s a small restaurant Chou-Chou about 4 doors down. It isn’t listed in Trip Adivisor. We had a great and not very expensive meal, The staff were very pleasant and helpful as we don’t speak much Japanese. Now I would give Chou-Chou at least 4 stars, possibly 5.
Written May 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

niamh
Donegal Town, Ireland197 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
I loved this experience, as did my teenage daughters. A perfect overview of the important cultural arts in Japan, not too long, 5 to 10 minutes of each art. A good value experience.The reviewer below summed it up excellently.
Extraordinary and incredibley rude that other reviewers complain that it is all conducted in Japanese, I needed a lie down after reading some of them, so offensive!
Written March 4, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MRyanPhotography
Sydney, Australia358 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The box office opens thirty minutes before the show (5:30pm) I would suggest you arrive a good 15min before that and que up. You need to be in early as it is first in best dressed for seats.
Aim to get a seat in the first two rows closest to the stage on the right as that is where the tea ceremony takes place and you will get the best of both performances.
The performances are great, a good range of Japanese cultural aspects! I had no complaints at all! The show lasts an hour in total, take it all in, worth an hour out of your evening for the cultural experience!
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Written June 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sarah Carter
Layer de la Haye, UK931 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
That it's reduced for foreigners from 3150 to 2500 Yen shouldn't make you think that you're getting a bargain. This is for one hour of "entertainment". There are two shows a night 6pm and 5pm. At 530pm on a Thursday night in early October we bought tickets, there was a big line, and even then we ended up on the end of a row.

The "theatre" appears to be designed so that 90% of the audience get a bad view. The best views appear to be on the RIGHT hand side facing the stage, in the first four to five rows. This will get you near the tea ceremony area, which if you on the other side of the audience you will be unable to see.

There are six performances.

It starts with the tea ceremony and the person who introduces the performance will ask for two volunteers, for people who want to taste Japanese Green Tea. PUT YOUR HAND UP. You do not go up on stage, you go to the small tea ceremony area, and sit on a mat, and get tea and sweets served to you. Sure other people can see you, but you don't have to get up on stage.

As the tea ceremony is progressing, the play of Japanese harps begins on the stage. Then the third performance, the flower arranging also begins on stage. Our performance included the arranging of four pieces of greenery.

The curtain closes and then the next performance begins. While the "noh" play is performed entirely in Japanese, it was actually quite entertaining. Then you'll get to see two dances from a geika/meika.

Finally Japanese puppet theatre. Three people clothed in black with almost executioner like masks on manhandle a large puppet doll around the stage in a bizarre 10 minute sketch.

As you pay for your tickets, you'll be given a brochure in a variety of languages that explains the events of the performance. Read it before the performance starts and it will all make a lot more sense (the puppet and the play won't make any sense unless you do). Get there early (an hour beforehand perhaps) to get a better seat. I stood through the entire performance as I couldn't see anything other than the clicking camera and phone in front of me.

Photographs are allowed, but all this leads to is the constant shutter click and an array of bright screen displays. If you have an iPad, please sit down and put it away, using it to take photos and video in this environment is just plain rude and obnoxious to the audience around and behind you.

It's an expensive way to spend an hour even if you can see what is going on and some of the performances (like the greenery arranging and the puppetry may leave you scratching your head, but at least you will get to see a geika/meika dance.
Written October 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ahmad A
Shinjuku, Japan254 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
we went there at noon and it was interesting show started with tea ceremony then geisha dance show and ended with samurai fight show at the end its not goanna be for everyone but I like it
Written March 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeff L
Appleton, WI390 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Couples
This could be a really valuable show highlighting Japanese culture, but it's run as a cash cow with very high prices and minimal effort to deliver a worthwhile show. Minimal staff, very few performers, not worth the price. The traditional tea ceremony with a few people playing musical instruments while a nice woman prepares tea eats up a large chunk of the one-hour show. There is a slow dance done by one male dancer in a cool costume while a few musicians play some old instruments. Then a lone woman dancer in a kimono does a slow dance with little grace (my wife's opinion) and little apparent interest in what she is doing. Not even a smile (maybe that's the traditional way?). In both cases, the dances seemed very simple & not very interesting, and one wonders why is there just one performer? They do manage to get 3 performers together to depict a story where someone with sake is worried about two friends stealing his sake, so he ties them up, but they still manage to drink a lot. OK, cute, but not much. Acting was weak - could have been funny.

The grand finale, the puppet show, was the main disappointment. The printed program describes a story involving several characters and some interesting scenes, but only one puppet is used as I guess someone is singing or chanting Japanese that depicts the story. The puppet basically thrashes around for a while, then awkwardly climbs a pagoda, then comes down. End of story. I was left saying, "What? I paid $50 ($25 a person) to see that? Couldn't they at least add a couple other puppets to show the story and not just tell it?"

Nice cash cow for the owners who can count on foreigners lining up to pay a lot to experience traditional Japanese culture, but without the traditional Japanese value of giving value for payment received. Too harshly stated? Perhaps, but it was certainly disappointing in its content. Even the video ads one sees why waiting in line to buy tickets show two dancers, not just one, for the woman's dance part.
Written October 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lt1168
Sendai, Japan204 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2011 • Couples
When my husband and I decided to go to Gion Corner, I'd read the mixed reviews about it and didn't have high expectations. For what you pay (3000 yen, which is about $36), the show is not very good. True, you get a sampling of 7 different traditional Kyoto arts, which is pretty cool (in concept), but the show had a very unpolished, amateur feel to it. Even with realistic expectations, I was disappointed. Instead of going to Gion Corner, you should choose an art form you would really like to see, and go somewhere else to see that.

I would compare it to a buffet of stale leftovers -- sure, you get a variety, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. You're better off with a small steak -- if you catch my drift.
Written November 6, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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