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Gion, Kyoto

4.2
#2 of 24 in Neighborhoods in Kinki
Neighborhood Landmark
Step back in time into Gion, a neighborhood in Kyoto that dates back to the Middle Ages. At the foot of the Yasaka shrine, locals developed this area to provide services to shrine visitors. Today, the neighborhood remains characterized by its wooden "machiya" merchant houses and cascading willow trees. Walk along the scenic Shirakawa canal and stop at a high-end restaurant, or visit an "ochaya" (tea house), where geishas, known locally as geikos, serve and perform for visitors. For Gion and beyond, use our Kyoto vacation trip planner to get the most from your Kyoto vacation.
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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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  • I loved visiting Gion, it is such a historial area with paved streets to walk around. It is very touristy and crowded, however that is expected in any historical spot. We were lucky and saw to maiko o...  more »
  • Definitely a nice walk, and definitely a good opportunity to eat some ice cream, but I would not purchase any food items here just on the principal of not paying a 30% surcharge.  more »
  • Gion is the traditional area where it feels good to walk the narrow sreets and get lost...if you are lucky, you'll come accross a geisha...  more »