Hotels in Gion

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What you should know about Gion

Famous as the city’s main entertainment district and for the geishas that work here, Gion is one of the most enchanting areas of Kyoto. The streets themselves are beautiful, featuring a blend of contemporary buildings and traditional wooden architecture. Kyoto is famous for its many temples, and the neighborhood of Gion is no exception, with lots to visit. It also hosts popular annual festivals such as Gion Matsuri in July, or Miyako Odori in April.

Hotels in Gion


In contrast to the more standard accommodation that you might find in other parts of the city, the hotels in Gion tend to be traditional Japanese inns, known as ryokan. One of these is The KINOE, a stunning 4-star hotel in Gion featuring beautiful rooms decorated in Japanese style. Food is served to you in your room, and you can take a relaxing soak in the bath made of hinoki wood. You can also stay in a typical machiya (Kyoto townhouse). Gion-Kinpyo is like having a house all to yourself, with attentive hosts providing an authentic experience. It receives some of the best hotel reviews in Gion.

Things to see in Gion


One of the best things to see in Gion is the streets themselves, where you might be lucky enough to see a geiko (local word for geisha) or maiko (apprentice geisha) as she travels between engagements. A popular street is Hanami-koji, which is adorned with beautiful traditional Japanese wooden architecture. It’s a great place to eat as well, with lots of restaurants where you can sample the local Kyoto cuisine of kaiseki ryori. Gion is home to many temples, including Kennin-ji, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto and founded in 1202. The building is beautiful, featuring impressive traditional Japanese artwork, and there are tranquil gardens. The Chouontei Garden is gorgeous and evokes all the peacefulness and serenity you would expect from a Zen garden. You can also find some great museums in Gion. Kahitsukan Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art hosts exhibitions, including the works of Japanese painter Kagaku Murakami.

Good for couples


If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with your significant other, a boutique hotel in Gion is the ideal place to stay. The neighborhood is a wonderful place for a romantic stroll together. Aside from all the temples located in the area, there are relaxing parks to enjoy, such as Maruyama Park. It’s a quiet, peaceful place that’s perfect for a picnic, or just to take a break between seeing the sights. There are also dozens of superb restaurants where you can enjoy a meal together. Gion Matsudaya for example is great for sushi and sashimi, or you can try Wabiya Korekido for some mouthwatering yakitori.

How to get to Gion


From the United States, you can fly to Kansai International Airport from either Honolulu or San Francisco. Once here, you can take a train, bus, or cab the rest of the way. The Haruka Airport Express takes 75 minutes, and the Limousine Bus (or a car ride) takes around 90 minutes. The train and bus terminate at Kyoto Station, where you can take either the number 100 or 206 bus to get to Gion (20 minutes). There are also two subway stations located close to Gion: Gion Shijo Station (Keihan line) and Kawaramachi Station (Hankyu line). It’s easy to travel in Gion thanks to its small size, which allows you to walk to all the sights.

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