Gion
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Gion

Culture, tradition and geisha in Old Kyoto

About Gion
Charles Colfer

Things to do in Gion

Upcoming Gion Events

Gion Matsuri

Gion Matsuri

Jessica Lin

Gion Matsuri is Kyoto’s largest festival which takes place throughout the month of July by the Yasaka Shrine.

Kyoto
Gion's Hassaku, Kyoto

Gion's Hassaku, Kyoto

Julian Bohler

The first of August is a very special day in Kyoto’s Gion neighbourhood. Named after a term which designates the first day of...

Kyoto

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Where to eat in Gion

Places to stay in Gion

Hotel SOWAKA

Hotel SOWAKA

Japan Travel

Enjoy a luxury getaway at Hotel SOWAKA, tucked away in Kyoto's Gion district just moments away from Yasaka Shrine.

Kyoto

Latest Gion Reports

The Ryozens of Kyoto

The Ryozens of Kyoto

Arlene Bastion

The large statue of Ryozen Kannon looms over moving war memorials, and graves at Ryozen Gokoku hold war dead and those who di...

Kyoto
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About Gion

Shijo Dori is filled with restaurants, souvenir shops, clothing stores and anything a shopping complex could hope to have. More importantly, following this road directly east will bring you to the large cluster of temples, shrines and top destinations that everyone goes to Kyoto for. I would suggest walking the streets because you can see more of the city and will become more familiar with your surroundings, but a short bus ride is also cheap and easy.

Walk far enough and you’ll enter the outskirts of Kyoto’s Gion District, an entire neighborhood with wonderfully preserved buildings and a traditional feel that will warp you back in time. For anyone interested in photography, this is an absolutely fantastic place for shooting, I know I had fun while taking these photos. Here, much like Ishibe Alley, you can see many vacationers dressed up in Yukata or Kimono, enjoying a summer's day with food and drinks, walking through temples or just enjoying the atmosphere. If it weren’t for a few cars or workmen uploading supplies from trucks, you would think you had just stepped into a time machine. Everyone says things like this, but it is true. The streets are defined by the classic all wooden buildings, tea houses and exclusively Japanese restaurants. It is easy to lose a few hours while visiting here. The area was originally made for servicing weary visitors of Yasaka Shrine and by the mid-18th century, had become Kyoto’s largest pleasure district.

Within this area, as well as a few minutes walk outside of it, you really begin to enter the mass of temples and shrines, all of which hold significant history and cultural value and are truly astounding to see up close and in person. All are within reasonable walking distance, but the closest are Yasaka Shrine (one of the most important shrines in Japan), Kennin-ji Temple (the temple that truly founded Zen Buddhism in Japan), Chorakuji Temple (a historical temple hidden in pine and bamboo) and Kodai-ji Temple (a famous sub-temple of Kennin-ji).

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