Gion is one of Kyoto's most visited areas, and for a good reason. Gion is one of the oldest geisha districts in Japan; it exudes tradition, is stunningly beautiful, and is filled with streets, temples, shops, and entertainment to explore.
Although a beautiful area to wander during the day, Gion really comes alive at night. Staying in Gion will let you enjoy everything this traditional district offers.
Main image: PIXTA

Getting to and around Gion and Higashiyama

Hanamikoji Shopping Street in Gion. Photo: PIXTA

From Kyoto Station
・By Train: Take the Kyoto Municipal Subway Karasuma Line to Shijo Station and transfer to Karasuma Station on the Hankyu-Kyoto Line (3-minute walk). From Karasuma Station, travel to Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station (2 minutes, 380 yen). From here, it is around a 10-minute walk to many destinations in the Gion area.
・By Bus: Busses 100 and 206 will both take you there in roughly 20 minutes from Kyoto Station (get off at the Gion bus stop).
Getting Around Gion
The best way around Gion is walking. It's not a very large area (roughly 30 minutes walking end-to-end), and it's riddled with spots you will want to stop and see or visit.

Why visit Gion and why stay there?

Gion is an excellent place to rent a kimono before strolling around the area. Photo: PIXTA

When you imagine what Kyoto must look like, you’re probably picturing Gion. Gion is one of the oldest geisha and maiko (geisha in training) districts in Kyoto, and it’s perhaps the most popular as well.
Especially when it’s not too crowded, you can experience what makes Kyoto famous. Its beautiful streets in tunnels of cherry trees, a river rushing in the background, real geisha walking to work, traditional food, temples, and more. Gion is an experience in itself; after exploring the rest of Kyoto during the day, it’s the perfect place to enjoy after dark – making a stay here very unique.

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Where is the best area to stay in Gion?

Gion is located in an area called Higashiyama. Higashiyama is filled with a number of traditional neighborhoods and sightseeing locations, including Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Yasaka Shrine, and several shopping areas.
The following are the best, most convenient areas to stay in Gion, beginning with the popular areas and places that are easiest to access via public transit.

Gion-Shijo Station area. Photo: PIXTA

1. Gion-Shijo Station area
The center of Gion. Direct access from and to Kyoto Station via train or bus, and sitting in the center of a plethora of places to visit.
Gion-Shijo is the most connected but also the potentially most crowded area of Gion. During the day, it's constantly bustling with locals and tourists. Nevertheless, it's easy to avoid some of the crowds if you walk by the Kamo River. You might also lik…

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