Gion Corner is a convenient place for art lovers to visit while in Kyoto, as it brings seven traditional Japanese performing arts together under one roof. Attending one of its nightly performances is an ideal way to spend an evening in the heart of the Gion entertainment district while learning about traditional Japanese culture.
Experience seven refined performing arts through short performances at Gion Corner: Kyo-mai dance performed by geisha, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, koto musical performance, Gagaku court music, Kyogen theater, and Bunraku puppet theater. These are performed together in a “digest,” a very easy way of experiencing these arts, which would take much longer to see individually. In addition to the performances, Gion Corner has a Maiko Gallery, where visitors can see videos of dances and examine the hairpieces worn by geisha and maiko.
Visitors enjoy Gion Corner on day or night trips around Kyoto, independently or with a group. Some evening walking tours include a stop at Gion Corner, as well as a traditional Japanese dinner and drinking experience.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Performances last 50 minutes.
- Gion Corner offers tourist season discounts to encourage foreign visitors to experience Japan’s traditional arts. Check out the website for current details.
- Gion Corner has its own app for visitors to learn more about traditional arts before their visit. It can be downloaded from the Gion Corner website.
How to Get There
It’s recommended to take public transport rather than drive to Gion Corner. It’s located in the geisha district of Gion, a popular area with tourists. It’s only a short walk from Gion, Gion-Shijo, and Kawaramachi stations.
When to Get There
From mid-March until the end of November, performances are held daily at 6pm and 7pm. From December until the second week of March, performances are only held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings, as well as some public holidays. No performances are held on select public holidays, so check the schedule online before planning a visit.
Visit Maruyama Park
Kyoto’s large Maruyama Park is a short walk northeast of Gion Corner. The park is especially famous for its cherry blossoms in spring, but it’s a serene place to walk at any time of year. It’s full of shrines, trees, and water features. An ideal Kyoto itinerary includes a visit to the park in the late afternoon, an early dinner in Gion, and a cultural performance at Gion Corner.