Hello. I am Mao Susaki, a staff of Travelers Hub Kitahama. I go to work every day at TH Kitahama using the Keihan line, which has a station in Gion.
Gion is in Higashiyama, the downtown of Kyoto. It is a touristy area, as it has many historical buildings, old streets, and is a convenient place to find souvenirs. This time, I will explain the three most popular places, Yasaka Shrine, Kiyomizu Temple, and Kenninji Temple.
Yasaka Shrine, located at the east end of Shijo Street, is a famous tourist attraction in Kyoto. The shrine was firstly called Gion Shrine. One of the three major festivals in Japan, Gion festival, is originated at Yasaka Shrine. Yasaka Shrine is strongly related to water. There is a legend that the shrine has a pond underneath the main building. Besides this, there are power spots that water well up. Some water is called "beauty water" that is said to be well for keeping beauty or "sacred water." Yasaka Shrine is open 24 hours a day, so you can feel a different atmosphere visiting at night from it is in the daytime.
Kiyomizu Temple is the most famous sightseeing spot in Kyoto, which has 1,200 years of history and is a World Heritage Site. It takes about 20 minutes on foot from the nearest station, Gion-Shijo. But there are many other temples such as Hokanji Temple and Yasaka Koshindo on the way to the temple.
You can also find many stalls with delicious food and souvenir shops. Around Kiyomizu Temple, you would see many traditional Japanese townscapes. It may be a good opportunity to rent a kimono and stroll around the streets in it. The main hall of Kiyomizu Temple is spectacular that there is a proverb that says "jumping off the stage of Kiyomizu," meaning "making a bold decision."
Kenninji Temple is a tourist attraction with its beautiful gardens and buildings. There are many exhibits, most of which are reproductions, and you can take photos of them. There are three gardens inside, and all of them have different characteristics: such as a garden modeled after a Chinese mountain and a dry landscape garden called ○△□ Garden. You can experience “Zazen” (in the morning on second Sundays) is a Buddhist training of sitting in a correct posture and meditation. "Shakyo," a Buddhist training of copying Buddhist scriptures to another paper, is also the one you can try.
Notice: Zazen event is currently suspended because of COVID-19
In addition to this, there are many other attractive tourist spots in the Gion area. For instance, Chion-in was where a Hollywood movie, "The Last Samurai," was filmed. Kodaiji is famous for its autumnal leaves. To get more information, please visit us at TRAVELERS Hub Kitahama. We will do our best to help you to make your trip a wonderful one.