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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Ana K | May 12, 2018
A beautiful location, a must visit. During Sakura season, this place is breathe-taking. Even though there are way too many tourists around this area. You can find many traditional restaurants around here and nice places to drink.
Anthony Wang | May 7, 2018
Nice area to walk around at night, especially during the transition from late afternoon into sundown, where you get to see the lights gradually turn on. At night, the lanterns illuminate the stone walkways and the various blossoming trees along the water, and you can fully immerse yourself in the mystery of this district.
Benji Huang | May 6, 2018
No trip to kyoto would be complete without a walk around Shirakawa. The concentration of people in kimono is jaw dropping. Lovely old style buildings - bit of a window into the past
Ivan Chua | May 11, 2018
Gion (祇園) is Kyoto's most famous geisha district, located around Shijo Avenue between Yasaka Shrine in the east and the Kamo River in the west. It is filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses), where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain.
Fred C | Apr 23, 2018
Superbe spot. Shirakawa Area which runs along the Shirakawa Canal parallel to Shijo Avenue. The canal is lined by willow trees, high class restaurants and ochaya, many of which have rooms overlooking the canal. As it is a little off the beaten path, the Shirakawa Area is typically somewhat quieter than Hanami-koji Street.
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