3 places where you can meet Maiko for free in Kyoto Gion I reccommend

“I want to see Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) in Kyoto”

Have you ever thought about this when thinking about traveling to Kyoto?

My name is Mametako(まめたこ). I am a front staff at a hotel in Kyoto Gion(祇園).

There are some places where you can meet Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) for free if you are lucky in Kyoto Gion.

In this article, I will write about 3 places where you can meet Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) for free.

3 places where you can meet Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) for free in Kyoto Gion

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Where is Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者])?

Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) is in 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi).

花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) refers to the area where the buildings(お茶屋, Ochaya) that Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) plays and dances and the buildings(屋形, Yakata) where Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) live are gathered.

In other words, if you go to the place where Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) lives and works, the chance of meeting will increase.

There are 5 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) places in Kyoto.

Location of 5 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi)

There are currently 5 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) places in Kyoto.

上七軒(Kamishichiken), 祇園甲部(Gion koubu), 祇園東(Gion higashi), 先斗町(Ponto-cho) and 宮川町(Miyagawa-cho).

These 5 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) are collectively called 五花街(Gokagai).

The 3 花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) of Gion koubu, Gion Higashi, and Miyagawa-cho are in one place.

There is Ponto-cho nearby.

上七軒(Kamishichiken) is located away from other flower districts.
Next to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.

3 places where you can meet Maiko(Geisha) for free

In this article, I will introduce three places where you can meet Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) for free from Gion.

花街(Kagai, Hanamachi) is a gathering place, so there is a high probability of meeting Maiko(Geisha)!

Hanami-koji St.(花見小路通り)

Hanami koji St.(花見小路通り) is the center of Gion.

Many high-class restaurants are lined up, Machiya(町家,townhouses) are lined up, and the streets without stone poles and electric poles have a Kyoto atmosphere.

There are so many tourists during the day and noisy.

In addition, taxis frequently enter Hanami-koji St.(花見小路通り).

Be careful when taking pictures as taxis often pass by.

At Hanami-koji St.(花見小路通り), which extends south from Shijo-dori St. , you can often see Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) going to work at night.

Although there are many tourists, Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) is conspicuous.

Access (how to get to) Hanami koji St. / Map

Transportation by train to Hanami koji St. from Kyoto Station

The nearest station of Hanami-koji St.(花見小路通り) is Gion Shijo Station(Keihan Railway[京阪]).

You can go from Kyoto Station to Tofukuji Station(東福寺駅)(JR Nara Line[JR奈良線]) and transfer to Tofukuji Station(東福寺駅)(Keihan Railway[京阪]) to Gion Shijo Station(祇園四条駅).

Transportation by bus to Hanami-koji St.(花見小路通り) from Kyoto Station(京都駅)

The nearest bus stop is Gion(祇園).

If you take the bus(No.206) from Kyoto Station(京都駅), you will arrive at Gion(祇園) (bus stop) straight without changing trains.

Gion Shirakawa South St(祇園白川南通り).

Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通り) a 5-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station(祇園四条駅).

There are work pleaces[お茶屋(Ochaya)] in Gion Shimbashi St.(祇園新橋通り) and other areas around Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通), and you can see Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) going through Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通り) for work.

Gion Shimbashi St.(祇園新橋通り)

Tatsumi brigde[巽橋(たつみばし)]

The Shirakawa river(白川) that flows beside Gion Shirakawa Minami St.(祇園新橋通り) has a famous bridge as an Instagram spot.

There are fewer tourists here than Hanami-koji St(花見小路通り).

There are also restaurants where you can enjoy shaved ice such as Gion Komori(ぎをん小森) and tea and Tasuki(お茶とたすき), and popular Matcha sweets.

These are recommended for a break in Gion of Kyoto.

Gion-komori

Pass the baton

Access (how to get to) Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通) / Map

Transportation by train to Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通) from Kyoto Station

Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通) is Gion Shijo Station(祇園四条駅)(Keihan Railway[京阪]).

You can go from Kyoto Station to Tofukuji Station(東福寺駅)(JR Nara Line[JR線]) and transfer to Tofukuji Station(東福寺駅)(Keihan Railway[京阪]) to Gion Shijo Station(祇園四条駅).

Transportation by bus to Gion Shirakawa South St.(祇園白川南通) from Kyoto Station

The nearest bus stop is Gion(祇園) (bus stop).

If you take the bus(No.206) from Kyoto Station(京都駅), you will arrive at Gion(祇園) (bus stop) straight without changing trains.

Ponto-cho(先斗町)

Ponto-cho(先斗町) is a short path from Shijo-Ohashi Bridge(四条大橋) over Kamogawa river(鴨川).

Ponto-cho(先斗町) is lined with restaurants.

The restaurants and shops starts to open after the evening, and it becomes crowded after 18:00.

In Ponto-cho(先斗町), in addition to restaurants, there is a Ponto-cho Kaburenjo(先斗町歌舞練場), and every year in May, Kamogawa Odori(鴨川をどり, Dance performance)is performed.

Kamogawa Odori(鴨川をどり)ーPonto-cho Kaburenjō Homepage

Ponto-cho Kaburenjo(先斗町歌舞練場)

There is a park in the middle of Ponto-cho(先斗町).

Sit down on the bench in the park and look at it when you hear a banging sound.

You should see Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) wearing a Geisha’s clogs.

The back of Maiko(Geisha) is wonderful.

Access (how to get to) Ponto-cho(先斗町) / Map

Transportation by train to Ponto-cho(先斗町) from Kyoto Station

From Kyoto Station(京都駅)(subway[地下鉄]), take the train for the International House and get off at Karasuma Station(烏丸駅)(subway[地下鉄]).

Transfer to Shijo Station(四条駅)(Hankyu[阪急]) at Karasuma Station(烏丸駅)(subway[地下鉄]).

Take the train for Kawaramachi Station(河原町駅) and get off at Kawaramachi Station(河原町駅) (Hankyu[阪急]).

Then, go outside Kawaramachi Station(河原町駅)(Hankyu[阪急]) Exit 1A, and then head towards Shijo-Ohashi bridge(四条大橋) on Shijo-dori St.(四条通り). There is an entrance to Ponto-cho(先斗町).

There is only one station from Karasuma Station(烏丸駅) to Kawaramachi Station(河原町駅), so if you have time, it is fun to walk through Nishiki Market(錦市場) to Ponto-cho(先斗町).

Nishiki Market

My Impressions

I hope this article makes your trip to Kyoto even more enjoyable.

Don’t say “Hi!” to Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) or never do anything that prevents the way please.

A tourist with bad manners obstructs Maiko[舞妓](Geisha[芸者]) from walking and takes pictures.

It ’s really annoying. Please feel Kyoto from a distance.

Thank you for reading to the end.

Mametako