Gion

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Gion: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

    1. Kyoto: Private Customized Walking Tour with a Local

    Discover Kyoto like a local and see the top attractions on a 2, 4, 6, or 8-hour private walking tour. Meet your host and get insider tips on what to see and do, learn about the culture and discover hidden gems along the way. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Book your preferred tour duration at least 72 hours in advance so that the best experience can be created in advance. You will be contacted shortly after booking to chat about your needs and interests. A like-minded host will then be provided, along with a bespoke, but flexible, itinerary exclusive to you. Visit sacred sites like the shrine of Fushimi Inari Taisha or Kinkajuki Temple, explore the cultural district of Gion or get off the beaten path in historic neighborhoods with the help of y...

    The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.

  • Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

    2. Kyoto: All-Inclusive 3-Hour Food and Culture Tour in Gion

    Explore the Gion district by night with an experienced English, German, French, or Spanish-speaking tour guide who knows everything there is to know about the area. The tour starts near Kamo river, where you’ll learn about how the tradition of Geishas came to be. After a short stroll along a busy commercial street, you’ll slip into a calm, quiet area to visit the Yasaka Jinja shrine. After that touch of education, it’s off to the Gion.   The Gion has secrets and history scattered across its narrow streets, but this is also a modern entertainment district—so it’s time for a deep dive into what goes on here. Your guide will keep it light and fun, and explain some of the more interesting cultural mores of these parts. Step into a restaurant and graze from a multitude of small plates at a sort of Japanese-style tapas experience. Enjoy a drink as well before continuing on.   Between restaur...

    Enjoyed the history and seeing a couple out-of-the-way neighborhoods. Mardi was an outstanding guide and provided an enjoyable evening visiting places we’d never have found on our own.

  • Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

    3. Kyoto: 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Ticket

    Discover the highlights of Kyoto with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the convenient hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Admire the panoramic views from on board the open-top double decker bus, and hop on or off at any of the stops along the route. Enjoy informative audio commentary on board the bus, available in 7 languages. Choose this efficient way of exploring the must-see places and attractions in Kyoto. The bus takes you past many of the city's top attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji, and Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. Buses run every 30 minutes, and you can enjoy unlimited rides for the duration of your ticket's validity.  Bus stops along the route:  • Kyoto Station • Karasuma Gojo • Shijo Karasuma / Nishiki-ichiba Market • Nijo-jo Castle • Nijo Station • Kitano-tenmangu Shrine / Kamishichiken • Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion) • Daitokuji Temple • Ky...

    Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.

  • Night Walk in Gion: Kyoto's Geisha District

    4. Night Walk in Gion: Kyoto's Geisha District

    Experience one of the most popular walking tours in Kyoto, joined by nearly 5,000 guests annually. This 100-minute guided walk is led by a licensed English-speaking guide and takes you through nighttime Gion. The tour begins at Gion Omoide Museum, connected to a traditional pastry shop. Walk down the classic cobblestoned streets next to the Shirakawa River, and admire the scenery that was featured in the book and film, Memoirs of a Geisha. As you walk beside this beautiful stream, the guide will tell you about the history of geisha and give you a detailed explanation in regards to their kimono, hairstyle, traditional rules, and what their daily life is like. Although it is not guaranteed, during the walking tour guests often encounter geisha walking along the street.

    Our guide was wonderful! Great English, kind, funny and knowledgable! Wonderful tour.

  • Kyoto Evening Gion Food Tour

    5. Kyoto Evening Gion Food Tour

    Starting in Kamogawa, you will stroll along the local streets and head toward Kamogawa River, with some possible seasonal food stops along the way, to gaze upon the many Japanese locals enjoying the cool of the evening, while sitting on the terraces along the water known as Kamogawa yuka noryo in Japanese.   After crossing the Kamogawa River, you'll enter into the Pontocho area, a district of Kyoto, home to many Geisha houses and traditional tea houses. In the evenings you'll be able to see Geisha walking the streets. Not long after our time in Pontocho, we will be in historical Gion, the most prominent entertainment district and Kyoto’s center of traditional arts. Gion is clad with old wooden buildings, teahouses and very exclusive Japanese restaurants, mostly by invitation only. Your guide will tell you stories about this very exquisite part of Kyoto along the way. At the e...

  • Kyoto: Kiyomizu Dera & Gion District Photography Tour

    6. Kyoto: Kiyomizu Dera & Gion District Photography Tour

    Meet your photographer/guide at the Yasaka Shrine and begin the tour by exploring the Kiyomizu Dera district. Have your photo professionally taken at some of the most photogenic locations in the district. Stop by some local temples and visit a beautiful five-storied pagoda. Pose by some beautiful traditional Japanese architecture and capture the essence of medieval Japan. Next, walk through the Gion distinct known for its geishas and vibrant entertainment. Discover the many charming alleyways and lanes of this famous district. Ladies on the tour can wear a traditional kimono and pose for photos which will be a memorable memento of your visit to Kyoto.

  • Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

    7. Kyoto: Nishiki Market and Gion Cultural Walking Food Tour

    Start at the vast 400-year-old Nishiki Market, nicknamed 'Kyoto's Kitchen,' where over 130 food shops and stalls will beckon your taste buds. Stroll through the Market and learn about its history and taste the various dishes unique to Kyoto including: Tofu Skin, Sesame Cracker, Japanese Pike Conger Eel, Sake, and etc. Then, rest your appetite by visiting a nearby shrine dedicated to the God of Education. Head for Pontocho Street by crossing through Teramachi Street, Shijo Street, and Kiyamachi Street- all of which will enable you to immerse yourself in modern Japanese culture. Pontocho street is very special, even for locals, because it is one out of the five Geisha districts in Kyoto. From here, you will walk across the majestic Kamo river and taste local sweets. The final section of the tour will lead you to Gion district (which is also another Geisha district). The guide will take y...

    My guides have been excellent- warm, gives wonderful insights into Kyoto culture and cuisine, very polite and excellent service!

  • Kyoto: Memoirs Tour with Photography Lesson

    8. Kyoto: Memoirs Tour with Photography Lesson

    Capture Kyoto on camera, a city of quaint streets and picturesque avenues lined with wooden houses. Begin your journey at a quiet temple near Kiyomizu-dera. Traverse a road to the famed temple, passing through a peaceful cemetery filled with stone monoliths. Enjoy the calm atmosphere of this journey, a poetic contrast to the bustling streets of Ninenzaka. Along the tour, learn how to capture the unique spirt of Kyoto on camera. The people of the city still embody its old-fashioned vibe: their passion for their heritage is reflected in their fashion and way of life. The city’s temples aren’t merely tributes to the past, but rather living, breathing monuments to the very spirit of Kyoto. With the assistance of a trained photographer, discover the most effective camera settings and techniques for capturing moments on the fly. Practice photographing people and asking them to pose for the ...

  • Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

    9. Kyoto: Private Rickshaw Tour of Gion and Higashiyama Area

    Explore the traditional neighborhood of Higashiyama from the comfort of a rickshaw with a knowledgeable guide. Admire the well-preserved wooden townhouses, see some of Kyoto's most famous temples, and pass through the vibrant geisha district in the Gion area. Learn about Japanese culture, heritage, and customs on this private customizable tour. Meet your guide on the cobbled streets by the Kodaiji Temple in Higashiyama, a nationally designated historic area. Travel back in time as your guide pulls you through the historic neighborhood, filled with traditional buildings and shops. Stop to take photos at the most scenic spots in each location. Choose from 4 different tour durations to suit your schedule, from the introductory 45-minute tour, to the comprehensive tour of 3 hours and 10 minutes. With the longer tours, you’ll continue through the wealth of sights in Higashiyama and the nort...

    Our ride was an absolute joy!!! Mitsu was charming, spoke English, took time to explain everything, made sure my dad (80 years old) was warm and safe.

  • Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

    10. Kyoto: 2-Hour Maiko Makeover and Photo Shoot

    On this special 2-hour activity, learn about the life and art of the maiko, or apprentice geiko. Maiko are female performing artists who wear traditional makeup, hairstyles and costumes. They work in the Gion area and perform various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games. The maiko are apprentices and are between 15 and 20 years old. You don’t have to be in this age range to participate in the Yumeyakata Maiko Makeover project, however! The professional staff will apply your makeup, use a wig, and dress you extravagantly to look like the real thing. They'll also show you the proper maiko poses for beautiful pictures.  The package includes studio photography, so you’ll have souvenir photos to show your family and friends.

    As a man, this was such a fun experience. When I checked in, I think the (male) receptionist was a bit shocked to see it was only me, but he handled it with care and I didn't feel embarrassed at all. The photoshoot itself only lasted about 10 minutes, but they do offer to take some personal pictures with your cell phone. (So you don't only get the professionally shot photos advertised!) They also have an option to go to a private shoot in a home, but the cost was like $400 or something. Something to consider if you really want to have an extra special experience.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gion

Want to discover all there is to do in Gion? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Gion

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 1,189 reviews

As a man, this was such a fun experience. When I checked in, I think the (male) receptionist was a bit shocked to see it was only me, but he handled it with care and I didn't feel embarrassed at all. The photoshoot itself only lasted about 10 minutes, but they do offer to take some personal pictures with your cell phone. (So you don't only get the professionally shot photos advertised!) They also have an option to go to a private shoot in a home, but the cost was like $400 or something. Something to consider if you really want to have an extra special experience.

The guide was extremely well versed in Japanese culture as well as sights and attractions. Japanese and English was fluent. 10 out of 10 would recommend this tour guide specifically Taibi.

Kyoto’s not too huge or traffic jammed for the busses get to the stops quickly without any trouble and they’ve chosen really great places.

Very interesting! The guide was really nice and prepared! Love it!

Excellent guide. very friendly, knowledgable. So glad we did this.