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Gion

Kyoto

A representative downtown area of Kyoto where you can also enjoy traditional Japanese performing arts

Gion, in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, is a representative downtown area of Kyoto. Wooden teahouses, Japanese restaurants, and traditional town houses called machiya stand in line on the south side of Gion, which creates an appearance with atmosphere. The area covering from Shinbashi Street in the north to Kenninji Temple in the south across Shijo Street, and from Yamato-oji Street in the west to Higashi-oji Street in the east is Gion-cho. It is famous for frequent encounters with maiko (Japanese professional dancers) wearing bright kimono and geta (wooden sandals). Maiko refers to geisha under training, and they take an active role in Gion under strict customs. Incidentally, most of the maiko seen outside Gion are actually tourists dressed as maiko just for fun. It is rare to see real maiko in situations other than in Gion in the evening.

The streets of Kyoto City are laid out in a grid-like pattern in the north, south, east, and west. Unlike other Japanese cities, most streets have names, not only main streets. One of the main streets in the city is Shijo Street, which runs east-west. In addition, a representative street in a north-south direction in Gion-cho is Hanamikoji Street. Hanamikoji Street runs north-south almost in the middle of Gion. On the south side, there is Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater. The period from April 1 to the end of the month every year is set as the period for Miyakoodori, and events to show the skills of maiko and geisha are held during the period. Next to it is Yasaka Hall. The hall is popular with tourists as they can appreciate seven kinds of traditional Japanese performing arts, including the Kyo-mai dance by maiko, in a theater in Gion Corner, which is permanently installed in the hall.

Information

Address: Minamigawa Gion Town, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto
Phone: 075-222-4130 (MICE Promotion Office , City of Kyoto and Kyoto Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Directions: (Bus) About 15 minutes from Kyoto Station on the Tokaido Shinkansen line by bus; get off at Gion bus stop and then walk for 5 minutes. (Car) 20 minutes from Kyoto-Higashi Interchange on the Meshin Expressway.

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