Kyoto Traditional District – Gion, Sannenzaka, Ninenzaka

2017 Mar 31


Gion is a very traditional-looking neighbourhood in Kyoto where there are restaurants with entertainment from real Geisha. I didn’t eat here but the streets were beautiful, even in rain.

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There were lots of tourists dressed up in Kimono, which made the sights even more interesting. Kimono rental is around JPY 4000 (~ USD 36) and I think it would be an interesting experience for both men and women. I sometimes saw long lines outside Kimono rental shops near Gion, but apparently some stores do take reservation online.

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There was a store with a huge lineup for the cashier, so I became curious and went in. It was a cosmetics store, called Yojiya, popular for its oil sheets. It was very expensive so I didn’t buy anything.

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Close to Gion district there were two other popular streets (Tripadvisor link). Sannenzaka (3-year-hill) and Ninenzaka (2-year-hill) were also very traditional looking and pretty. Apparently if you fall on those streets, you will die within 3 years (Sannenzaka) or 2 years (Ninenzaka). Gladly I didn’t trip or fall but I wonder who came up with such scary stories. Apparently, according to Lonely Planet, the names (3-year-hill and 2-year-hill) refers to the imperial year they were built.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t take good pictures due to so many umbrellas, but I did go back for a quick picture on the way to Kiyomizudera couple days after.

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I loved how traditional and well-preserved the neighbourhood looked. It was pretty crowded with tourists everywhere, so if I go back I would visit early morning.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. RyanC says:

    How beautiful is Gion!!!
    I was in Japan a week ago, and yeah Gion was one of my favourite spots!
    And if you’re lucky you get to see a few Geisha walking about!

    1. claireshc says:

      Unfortunately I didn’t get to see any 😦 But I saw lots of beautifully dressed tourists haha

      1. RyanC says:

        haha fair enough – they are so elusive!!

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