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Kyoto

Gion

Culture, tradition and geisha in Old Kyoto

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About Gion

Near HOTEL MYSTAYS Kyoto-Shijo, Shijo Dori is filled with restaurants, souvenir shops, clothing stores and anything a shopping complex could hope to have. More importantly, following this road directly east will bring you to the large cluster of temples, shrines and top destinations that everyone goes to Kyoto for. I would suggest walking the streets because you can see more of the city and become more familiar with your surroundings, but a short bus ride is also cheap and easy.

Walk far enough and you’ll enter the outskirts of Kyoto’s Gion District, an entire neighborhood with wonderfully preserved buildings and a traditional feel that will warp you back in time. For anyone interested in photography, this is an absolutely fantastic place for shooting, I know I had fun while taking these photos. Here, much like Ishibe Alley, you can see many vacationers dressed up in Yukata or Kimono, enjoying a summer's day with food and drinks, walking through temples or just enjoying the atmosphere. If it weren’t for a few cars or workmen uploading supplies from trucks, you would think you had just stepped into a time machine. Everyone says things like this, but it is true. The streets are defined by the classic all wood buildings, tea houses and exclusively Japanese restaurants and it is easy to lose a few hours visiting here. The area was originally made for servicing weary visitors of Yasaka shrine and by the mid-18th century, became Kyoto’s largest pleasure district.

Within this area, as well as a few minutes walk outside of it, you really begin to enter the mass of temples and shrines, all of which hold significant history and cultural value and are truly astounding to see up close and in person. All are within reasonable walking distance, but the closest are Yasaka Shrine (one of the most important shrines in Japan), Kennin-ji Temple (the temple that truly founded Zen Buddhism in Japan), Chorakuji Temple (a historical temple hidden in pine and bamboo) and Kodai-ji Temple (a famous sub-temple of Kennin-ji).

For a nearby accommodation option, I recommend HOTEL MYSTAYS Kyoto-Shijo. View our article here and check the English version of their website.

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