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  • Writer's pictureKyoto Localized

Gion Walking Tours: What to Do in Gion, Kyoto

Looking for the best Gion walking tours? Gion is the entertainment capital and the most popular geisha district in Kyoto, Japan.

Gion, Kyoto is filled with restaurants, bars, shops, machiya (“traditional townhouse”), as well as some shrines, temples, and iconic streets, so spending an entire day exploring the district will be so worth it.

Consider joining Gion walking tours to make the most of your stay in Kyoto, Japan.

1. Gion Free Walking Tours

[Yasaka Pagoda | Image Courtesy of Sourasak / Unsplash]

If you are looking for free things to do in Kyoto, you can find a lot of them in Gion. In Gion alone, you can spend an entire day visiting some culturally and historically relevant places.

A host of travel services and local tour guides in Kyoto offer free walking tours where they’ll bring you to historic tourist attractions in the city. We, at Kyoto Localized, have a free walking tour that you can join in. And part of our Gion walking tour route is Gion Shirakawa, Yasaka Shrine, and Yasaka Pagoda. You can book your Kyoto free walking tour spot here now.

2. Gion Geisha Tours

[Geisha in Gion | Image Courtesy of Han Min T / Unsplash]

Japan has less than 2,000 geisha or professional female entertainers today, and about 100 of them and 100 maiko (geisha apprentice) are in Kyoto. Gion is called the geisha district of Kyoto because it’s where you can see most of them. So there’s no other perfect place in Kyoto to get the best geisha experience than Gion.

Lots of geisha tours in Kyoto will bring you to a formal gathering where you can see them up close or interact with them. It could be in izakaya (“traditional pub”), ochaya (“traditional teahouse”), or ryotei (“luxurious traditional restaurant”) where these geisha and maiko serve their clients. Note that Gion geisha tours can be expensive, so you might want to find Gion geisha walking tours instead.

3. Gion Evening Tours

[Yasaka Shrine | Image Courtesy of Yang Jing / Unsplash]

If you’re looking for ideas on what to do in Gion at night, exploring Gion street at night is the best way to go. Note that different local tours have different things to do in Gion district at night — which could be food crawling, bar hopping, or just a night of drinking.

At Kyoto Localized, we offer free walking tours in Kyoto. What we have in our Gion evening walk itinerary is Yasaka Shrine, where its magnificent lanterns light up at night. We will also do some geisha sightings around the Gion area. You can join our Kyoto Gion night walking tour for FREE here.

4. Self-Guided Gion Walking Tour

[Hanami Lane | Image Courtesy of Olivier Guillard / Unsplash]

Pressed for time? Don’t feel bummed out. If you’re visiting Kyoto for a limited time, you can still see a huge part of Kyoto by doing a self-guided Gion walking tour. All you need is a Gion map and you’re ready to explore Gion. Some iconic tourist spots in Gion are Shirakawa Bridge, Gion Corner, Hanamikoji Dori Street, Yasaka Shrine, and Yasaka Pagoda.

To visit multiple spots in Kyoto in less time, you can sign up for our half-day walking tour too. Our itinerary will take you to places like Shirakawa Bridge, Heian Shrine, Nanzen-ji Temple, and Keage Incline.


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has a rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours, you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.




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