Sporting a charming facade of stone-paved streets and intertwining alleyways, the Gion district is considered the de facto entertainment centre of the Kyoto prefecture.
Gion is well-known as a popular hive of activity which features performances from artists and local theatres. Moreover, the idyllic locale is also filled with plenty of shops, teahouses, and (pricey!) dining establishments wherein Geisha and Maiko entertain guests.
Explore The Charming & Gentle Gion District
If you’re ever in town, you should definitely head to the cherry-tree-fringed main street of Hanami-koji first. Trust us, it’ll be hard to miss the beautiful street lined with equally pretty cherry trees.
Here, you’ll find crowds gathering around the many Machiya — traditional wooden townhouses characteristically found in Kyoto — in which many of them have been repurposed as restaurants and eateries serving a range of traditional Japanese cuisine.
However, if braving the crowds of tourists and visitors is not your cup of tea, then perhaps a stroll down a lesser-packed albeit similarly stunning part of Gion would be more up your alley. We’re, of course, referring to the Shirakawa Area which runs along the Shirakawa Canal and is situated parallel to Shijo Avenue.
Coming up to this spot in Gion, you’ll find plenty of willow trees dotting the banks of the canal, along with many high-class restaurants and Ochaya (teahouses). Additionally, many if not most of these establishments have rooms overlooking the picturesque canal — offering guests the perfect dining atmosphere in all of Gion.
As mentioned, the Shirakawa Area is a somewhat peaceful area as compared to Hanami-koji Street as it is placed a little out of the way.