Gion Corner

Kyoto, Japan

Gion Corner


Gion (祇園) is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originating as an entertainment district in the Sengoku period, in front of Yasaka Shrine (Gion Shrine). The district was built to accommodate the needs of travellers and visitors to the shrine. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan. Gion is the Japanese translation (via Chinese Qiyuan) of the Buddhist term Jetavana.

The geisha in Kyoto do not refer to themselves as geisha, instead using the local term 'geiko'. While the term geisha means "artist" or "person of the arts", the more direct term geiko means essentially "a woman of art".

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