Wearing the charm of Gion – Touring Kyoto’s red-light district in kimono

Even within Kyoto, Gion is known for its tradition and beauty. In this article, we will introduce how to take advantage of kimono rental to get closer to the history and culture of Gion. Enjoy the charm of Kyoto’s red-light district as you tour the alleyways and traditional buildings of Gion while wearing a beautiful kimono.

History of Hanamachi Gion – Tradition and formality visited with kimono rental

Gion is known as one of the most prestigious and historic areas in Kyoto. Focusing on the rich history and formal culture of Gion, the entertainment district, we will introduce you to how to tour Gion’s alleyways and traditional buildings while wearing a beautiful kimono. Enjoy the charm of Gion while being surrounded by a rich history and formal atmosphere.

Touch the history of Hanamachi Gion – Spots to visit in kimono

・Hanamikoji – A gorgeous entertainment district
Hanamikoji, one of the busiest areas in Gion, is lined with many restaurants and teahouses, giving it the formal feel of a red-light district. Lined with historic buildings, walking around in a kimono will make you feel as if you have traveled back in time to Kyoto.


・Gion Festival Hall – Learn the history of the Gion Festival
If you want to experience the history and tradition of the Gion Festival, we recommend the Gion Festival Hall. The history of the festival and models of the yamahoko used during the Gion Festival are on display, allowing you to enjoy its powerful and formal atmosphere.


・Higashiyama Sanjuroppou – The atmosphere of walking around in a kimono
Higashiyama, which stretches behind Gion, is an area where scenic nature and historical landmarks come together. The view from halfway up Mt. Higashiyama is particularly spectacular, and you can enjoy a leisurely stroll wearing a kimono.

Kimono walk in Gion, rich in history and formality

Gion’s historic buildings and formal culture are even more appealing to visitors wearing kimonos. When visiting Gion wearing a kimono, please pay attention to the following points.


・Harmony with prestigious buildings
The kimono is a traditional Japanese attire, creating a beautiful contrast with Gion’s prestigious buildings and historic areas. In particular, when you take photos along Hanamikoji, you can feel the atmosphere as you walk around.


・Take a break at a traditional teahouse
Gion is dotted with traditional teahouses. You can come dressed in a kimono and enjoy a relaxing moment while enjoying traditional tea ceremony and Japanese sweets.


・Lights illuminating Gion at night At night, the alleys of Gion are illuminated with lights, creating an even more mysterious and atmospheric atmosphere. You can enjoy the fantastic scenery by renting a kimono and going for a night stroll.

Interacting with Maiko and Geiko – Enjoying the art of Geiko and Maiko in kimono

Speaking of Gion, it is known as a place where maikos and geishas reach the height of their art. We’ll introduce you to ways to enjoy the performances of maikos and geishas in Gion while wearing kimono, as well as recommended spots and events to meet geishas and enjoy a butoh show. Experience the tradition and beauty of Gion’s red-light district, and enjoy the essence of its art.

Points of contact with Geisha and Maiko in Gion

・A special tea house that welcomes Geisha and Maiko from Gion
Gion is dotted with teahouses where you can see and interact with maiko and geiko performances up close. In particular, at teahouses that have special plans where you can enjoy performing arts, you can spend a luxurious time wearing a kimono.


・Maiko/Geiko experience program
There are also programs where you can experience the performance of maikos and geishas while wearing a rental kimono. You can get a glimpse of the depth of their art while learning traditional skills such as dancing and how to make tea.


・Gion Geisha and Maiko stage performance
Gion also hosts performances by geishas on stage. At these performances, you can experience the elegant dance and traditional music of maikos and geishas, and enjoy their beauty in kimono.

Advice for enjoying the essence of art

When wearing a rental kimono and interacting with Gion’s geishas, please refer to the following.


・Know manners
When interacting with maikos and geikos, it is a good idea to be aware of traditional Japanese etiquette. You can have a better experience by being polite, such as how to bow and how to conduct a conversation.


・Before asking for a photo
When asking a maiko or geiko for a photo, it is important to get permission in advance. They also want their privacy to be respected.


・Be moved by the performance of geishas
You are sure to be moved by their performances and experience programs. Enjoy the delicate dance and music of geishas while wearing beautiful kimonos.

Visiting famous restaurants in Gion – A treasure trove of gourmet food to enjoy while wearing a kimono

Speaking of Gion, it is a treasure trove of gourmet food that gives you a sense of history and formality. We provide information on famous restaurants where you can enjoy delicious meals and how to enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine while wearing a rental kimono in Gion. We invite you to take a luxurious trip to famous restaurants where you can enjoy both tradition and a stylish atmosphere.

The charm of visiting famous restaurants in Gion

・If you want to enjoy Japanese cuisine, go to “Gion Ippon”
There are many famous Japanese cuisine restaurants in Gion, but Gion Ippon is especially recommended. Kaiseki cuisine using seasonal ingredients allows you to fully enjoy the flavors of Kyoto. Enjoy the taste of Japanese cuisine while enjoying the charm of kimono.


・Tanakaya’s tea kaiseki in a beautiful garden
“Tanakaya” is a famous restaurant that takes pride in its tea kaiseki cuisine, which you can enjoy while looking out at the beautiful garden. You can spend a luxurious time wearing a kimono in a Japanese-style garden where you can feel the atmosphere of each season. Enjoy your meal and be healed by the beauty of the Japanese garden.


・Taste nostalgic Japanese food at the long-established restaurant “Iwamoto”
“Iwamoto” is a long-established Japanese restaurant in Gion, and is a famous restaurant where you can enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine. The dishes made with fresh seafood and Kyoto vegetables are simple yet full of flavor. Enjoy the nostalgic taste while wearing kimono.

How to enjoy a gourmet food tour while wearing a stylish kimono

・Selecting a kimono that matches the season
We recommend choosing a kimono that matches the season to enjoy the perfect seasonal feel for your gourmet tour. For spring, choose a cherry blossom pattern, for summer, choose something with cool colors, and for autumn, choose something with autumn leaves or muted colors to enhance your style.


・Accentuate with accessories
Accessories are important when wearing a kimono rental. You can add a stylish accent by coordinating the obidome, sandals, drawstring bag, etc. Why not decorate your special moment when visiting a famous restaurant in Gion with accessories?


・Hairstyle that matches the kimono
In order to enjoy your gourmet tour even more, it is important to have a hairstyle that matches your kimono. Add a simple updo or Japanese-style hair ornaments to enhance your overall beauty.

Gion’s four seasons – A tasteful stroll in kimono

Gion is a place where you can enjoy beautiful scenery that changes with the seasons. We will introduce you to the points to enjoy in beautiful kimonos at spots and events that can be enjoyed in each season, such as cherry blossoms in spring, Gion Festival in summer, autumn leaves, and snowy scenery in winter. Why not experience the charm of each season while fully enjoying the atmosphere of Gion?

Spring – The beauty of Gion with dancing cherry blossoms

In spring, the streets and gardens of Gion are dyed in cherry blossom color. Walking around the cherry blossom tunnel and the riverside cherry blossom trees in a kimono will make you feel like you’ve wandered into a painting. The beauty of Gion that can only be seen in spring is the sight of cherry blossom petals dancing in the wind and kimonos swaying gracefully.


Spring Gion rental kimono walking course: famous cherry blossom viewing spot “Gion Kaburenjo Maekawa”
This area is famous for its cherry blossoms, and you can also see maiko and geiko dancing under the cherry blossom trees. When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, you can enjoy the atmosphere of Gion with the cherry blossoms dancing at their best.

Summer – Gion Festival full of excitement

Gion Festival is a summer tradition. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the Gion Festival while wearing a kimono. Summer in Gion is a special season where you can feel the harmony between tradition and modernity, filled with excitement with Yamahoko parades and lively night stalls.


Summer Gion rental kimono walking course: Viewing spots for the Hanagasa parade
There are many viewing spots along the parade route, including the Sanjo-dori and Shijo-dori intersections. Especially on Shijo-dori Street, you can enjoy the Gion Festival in kimono and enjoy the power of the festival.

Autumn – Alleys and gardens colored with autumn leaves

In autumn, Gion’s alleys, temples, and gardens are covered in autumn leaves. As you walk through the tunnel of autumn leaves, you will feel a calm Japanese atmosphere. The color of the kimono and the autumn leaves are in perfect harmony, creating a fantastic space.


Autumn Gion rental kimono walking course: Autumn leaves at Ishibekoji
Ishibekoji is said to be one of the most beautiful streets in Gion. With the arrival of autumn, the arch of autumn leaves spanning the path creates a spectacular scenery. A walk here is truly a sightseeing tour of the autumn leaves.

Winter – Silence of Gion covered in snow

In winter, Gion is covered in snow, creating a quiet and magical atmosphere. Walking in a kimono through snow-covered paths and gardens will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a winter fairy tale. The tranquility of Gion and the snowy scenery come together for a luxurious time.


Winter Gion rental kimono walking course: Snow garden “Nanzenji”
The Karesansui garden at Nanzenji Temple looks especially beautiful when covered with snow. Enjoy the quiet atmosphere and snowy scenery, and fully experience the beauty of Gion in winter.


Author of this article


Waplus Yasaka Shrine store staff

Ayana Ogawa

We would like to help many customers smile through kimono rental.
I love spending time listening to customer requests and proposing kimono coordination and deciding on hair styles!
I am particularly good at hair styling, so please leave it to me to create the currently popular feminine hair.
I'll make it look cute!
My hobbies are music, movies, and shopping!
Please come and visit Waplus Kyoto!
We will suggest cute coordination!