Where to Stay in Gion 2023 – 3 Best areas

Wondering where to stay in Gion? In this post, I will help you to find the best areas to stay in Gion and the best hotels to stay in this historic district of Kyoto.

Gion is one of the most famous and historical areas in Kyoto, renowned for its traditional atmosphere and preserved streetscapes. Gion is particularly known for being a geisha district, where geiko (as geishas are called in Kyoto) and maiko (geiko apprentices) can still be seen strolling through the streets in their exquisite kimono.

Gion is also famous for its wooden machiya houses, many of which have been converted into teahouses, restaurants, or ochaya (traditional tea houses where geiko and maiko entertain guests). 

Walking through the streets of Gion, you’ll find traditional shops selling local crafts, souvenirs, and sweets, as well as a variety of restaurants serving Kyoto’s renowned cuisine.

The best time to visit Gion is in the evening, as the district takes on a magical ambiance with its lantern-lit streets. You can spot geiko and maiko as they make their way to appointments or performances. It’s important to be respectful and mindful of the geisha culture while observing them and avoid any intrusive behavior.

Aside from geisha sightings, Gion is also home to several historical landmarks, including the Yasaka Shrine, located at the eastern end of Shijo-dori (Gion’s main street). During the Gion Matsuri festival in July, Gion comes alive with processions and traditional events, making it an exciting time to visit.

Is Gion a good area to stay in Kyoto?

Yes, Gion is one of the best places to stay in Kyoto due to its central location, rich history, geisha culture, and traditional charm. It’s a great choice for travelers seeking an authentic and captivating experience during their visit to Kyoto.

But, it’s important to note that accommodations in Gion can be more expensive compared to other areas of Kyoto (of course, you can still find budget options if you search in advance). Gion can get crowded during peak tourist seasons, especially in popular spots like Hanamikoji Street. 

If you have a limited budget, you might consider staying in other areas of Kyoto such as Downtown Kawaramachi and visiting Gion for day trips or evening strolls.

Overall, Gion is an excellent base if you value the traditional atmosphere, proximity to attractions, and a chance to immerse yourself in Kyoto’s culture.

Where to Stay in Gion, Kyoto?

The best areas to stay in Gion are the areas around Gion-Shijo Station, Higashiyama Station, and Ninenzaka. These areas have central locations, well-connected to public transportation, and offer plenty of things to do and see for tourists.

The Gion-Shijo Station area is the best overall place to stay in Gion due to its prime location. The area offers easy access to attractions not only in Gion and Higashiyama, but also other parts of the city like Nishiki Market, Imperial Palace, Nij┼Ź Castle, and Kyoto Station for a day trip to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

Where to Stay in Gion: Best areas map
Where to Stay in Gion: Best areas map
Where to Stay in Gion, Kyoto
Where to Stay in Gion, Kyoto
Where to Stay in Gion, Kyoto
Where to Stay in Gion, Kyoto

3 Best areas to stay in Gion are:

1. Gion-Shijo Station area

Located in the heart of Gion, the Gion-Shijo Station area is a popular choice for visitors seeking convenience and easy access to major attractions. This area offers a vibrant atmosphere with numerous shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. 

Gion-Shijo Station is also close to Shijo-dori, a bustling shopping street, between the Kamo river and Yasaka Shrine, one of Kyoto’s iconic landmarks. Staying here ensures you’re right in the center of the action and can easily explore the surrounding areas.

The famous Pontocho Alley is also nearby. It is a narrow alley running parallel to the Kamo River. It’s famous for its traditional tea houses and restaurants that offer a variety of dining experiences, including kaiseki (multi-course) meals. 

Gion-Shijo Station area is also located within walking distance from beautiful Gion-Shirakawa, Hanamikoji Street, Kenninji Temple, and Gion Corner with its cultural performances showcasing traditional Japanese arts such as tea ceremony, flower arrangement, koto music, and maiko dances.  

Gion-Shijo Station is easily reachable from Kyoto Station by taking a JR Nara line to Tofukuji Station and then transferring to the Keihan Line. There is also a bus to reach this station.

Best hotels to stay in Gion-Shijo Station area:

Luxury ($$$): Hotel Alza Kyoto, 5-star hotel is conveniently located in Gion district, close to the Kamo River, and is within walking distance from Sanjo Station, Gion-Shijo Station, and Kawaramachi Station.

Luxury ($$$): Yuzuya Ryokan, 5-star Japanese style hotel, located just steps from the Yasaka Shrine. It is also within easy walking distance from Gion Shijo Train Station, as well as the Chion-in Temple and Chorakuji Temple. 

mid-range ($$): Kyoto Granbell Hotel, 4-star hotel, located just 2 minute walk away from Gion-Shijo Subway Station. There is a maiko show twice a week for an additional charge at the hotel.

mid-range ($$): Rinn Gion Shirakawa, 4-star hotel, centrally located close to Gion Shijo Station and Samurai Kembu Kyoto. You can choose to stay in a room with river views.

Budget ($): Laon Inn Gion Nawate, 3-star hotel with soundproofing rooms, set within 3-minute walk from Gion-Shijo Station. It is also a short distance from many restaurants, cafes and convenience stores.

Budget ($): Rinn Gion Kenninji, 3-star hotel, located 5 minutes walk on foot from both Gion Shijo Station and Kawaramachi Station.

BEST HOTELS IN GION-SHIJO STATION

2. Higashiyama Station area

Situated just a short distance from Shijo-dori, the Higashiyama Station area is known for its historic temples, narrow streets, and charming atmosphere. This area offers a more tranquil and traditional experience compared to the bustling Gion-Shijo area. 

Here, you can explore iconic sites such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion), and the picturesque Philosophers’ Path, as well as Heian Shrine, which features a large torii gate, beautiful gardens, and the stunning vermilion-colored Heian Shrine main building.

Best hotels to stay in Gion-Shijo Station area:

Luxury ($$$): Tassel Hotel Sanjo Shirakawa, 5-star hotel, located next to the Higashiyama subway station, and Shirakawa river. 

mid-range ($$): Hotel Mastay Jingumichi, great hotel located on Sanjo-Dori Street, a quiet neighborhood. It is within walking distance from Higashiyama Station (subway Tozai line), as well as Heian Jingu Shrine, Nanzenji Temple, and Chion-in Temple.

Budget ($): Stay SAKURA Kyoto Higashiyama Shirakawa, a 3-star hotel conveniently located close to Samurai Kembu Kyoto, Gion Shijo and Higashiyama Station, and Heian Shrine. 

Budget ($): Hotel Legasta Kyoto Higashiyama Sanjo, 3-star accommodation, located within walking distance to Gion and metro station.

BEST HOTELS IN HIGASHIYAMA STATION AREA

3. Ninenzaka area

Ninenzaka is a charming pedestrian street located in the historic Higashiyama district. This area is renowned for its well-preserved traditional buildings and old-world ambiance. 

Staying in the Ninenzaka area gives you a glimpse into Kyoto’s past, with its quaint tea houses, souvenir shops, and atmospheric alleyways. 

From here, you can easily explore popular attractions like Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Yasaka Pagoda, and Maruyama Park. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a serene and authentic Kyoto experience.

Best hotels to stay in Gion-Shijo Station area:

Luxury ($$$): The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu, a 5-star hotel in a great location close to Kiyomizu temple. It has beautiful sunset views from its rooftop bar.

Luxury ($$$): Campton Kiyomizu Vacation Rental, 5-star accommodation, great base for families, quiet location at night.

mid-range ($$): Kyo no Yado Sangen Ninenzaka, great 3-star hotel with a beautiful Japanese garden, located 5-minute walk from historic Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

mid-range ($$): Yasaka Yutone Kyokoyado, located within walking distance from Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and Kodai Temple.

Budget ($): Rc Hotel Kyoto Yasaka, 2-star inn is situated 16-minute walk from Samurai Kembu Kyoto.  

Budget ($): Gionkoh, excellent 2-star accommodation in the historic Higashiyama District.

BEST HOTELS IN NINENZAKA AREA

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Overall, The areas around Gion-Shijo Station, Higashiyama Station, and Ninenzaka are some of the best places to stay in Gion. Gion-Shijo Station is the best base if you prefer a lively atmosphere with convenient access to amenities. For a more tranquil and traditional experience, the Higashiyama Station area or the picturesque Ninenzaka area are excellent choices.

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