Gion (祇園) and Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社)

Gion(祇園) is a very famous hanamachi(花街), or geisha district, in eastern Kyoto City. This area is full of well-preserved traditional style and entertainment. Machiya(町屋/町家), traditional shops and houses, line the streets. Many are tea houses(お茶屋). Restaurants, theaters, and other shops also accommodate visitors.

Real geisha(芸者) dressed in kimono(着物) live in this area and can be spotted here, though many tourists also enjoy dressing up like geisha. Geisha are entertainers who typically work at tea houses and perform traditional art, dancing, and singing.

At the edge of Gion sits a historic Shinto shrine called Yasaka Shrine(八坂神社). It includes a stage, main hall, several smaller buildings, statues, and gates.




Maruyama Park(円山公園) and several temples surround Yasaka Shrine as well. Daiun Temple(大雲院) with its memorable tower rooftop can be seen just a short stroll away. Continuing on the path from here leads to Ninenzaka(二年坂) and Sannenzaka(三年坂).

Also nearby, Yasui Konpira Shrine(安井金比羅宮) features a large rock with a hole through it covered in paper wishes. Visitors can pass through the rock with their wish and post it on the rock.