Where and What is Gion ?
Located in the north-east of JR Kyoto station, Gion district is where entertainment facilities and natural beauties are combined: banks on both sides of Kamogawa river where you can spend time sitting, chatting and cooling down; roads on both sides of a smaller river where you can enjoy a leisurely stroll; a huge variety of restaurants and eateries on both sides of "Ponto-cho" alley about three meters in width; shops on the sidewalks of the main road where various items of goods are on display. On the eastern end of the district is Yasaka-Jinjya Shrine. The area bustles with tourists, constituting a striking contrast to the northern areas of the city where many temples and shrines serenely stand.
Walking along the narrow roads on both sides of a smaller river, sidewalks of the main road and banks of Kamo-gawa river will give you a great enjoyment, both physically and spiritually. In particular, you will be amazed at seeing the very large number of restaurants on both sides of the narrow road of "Ponto-cho" district, where you will never miss your favorite food. You can also enjoy seeing "Kamogawa-odori" dance in the theater in that area. There is a huge variety of souvenir shops selling goods representing the traditional Japanese culture. The "Gion Festival " held in July is a spectacular event which you should not miss. The climax comes on Jly 17th and 24th when a total of 33 floats parade along the main road.
In the neighborhood of Gion...
Visit the "Nishiki- ichiba" shopping street, which is located just west of the centeral Gion district only a few hundred meters away. On both sides of the narrow street about three meters in width and 300 meters in length from west to east, there are almost a countless number of shops sellig mainly food ingredients. Shop owners` lively voices will make you feel enlivened and your appetite will be enhanced. You will no doubt be amazed at seeing the huge variety of fresh food items, including fish and meat, sold there.