From Nijo Castle to Gion


1. Overview

How to get to Gion area (Gion Shirakawa, Hanamikoji Street, Gion Corner or Yasaka Jinja Shrine) from Nijo Castle ?

Visitors Question

You can go  〈1〉 by Kyoto City Bus No.12  or  〈2〉 by Subway + Walk. 

Locals Answer

The recommended ways to Gion from Nijo Castle is (1) by Kyoto City Bus No.12 or (2) by Subway + Walk.

The map below is the overview of the routes, stops, time and fare.

From Nijo CastleKyoto City Bus  No.12  take you to Gion area.

In addition, by Kyoto City Subway (Tozai line) + walk (less than 10 minutes), you can move to Gion area on schedule even on peak season such as cherry blossom and autumn leaves.

The name of the bus stop and the station is Nijojo-mae, meaning “in front of Nijo Castle” in Japanese.

Bus fare is ¥230 and Subway fare is ¥220 for the sections per ride.

These 2 routes have pros and cons.
So, please choose your way, comparing specific examples (from Nijo Castle to Hanamikoji Street in Gion) below.

« Route 1 »

 By bus , it takes at least 35 minutes including walking & wating time (¥230).
Firstly, head for Nijojo-mae bus stop (2 minutes walk).
Bus No.12 is
 operated almost every 15 minutes. (Note : not so many bus services)
From the arrival Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop (meaning “in front of Keihan Railway Gion-Shijo station”), it takes about 5 minutes’ walk to Hanamikoji Street.

Please note that those buses are likeiy to take more time on peak season because of traffic jam.

« Route 2 »

 By Subway & Walk , it takes in total about 25 minutes including walking & waiting time. (¥220).
Subway Nijojo-mae station is also beside the Castle (2 minutes’ walk)
Subway trains are operated a lot. (more than 10 times per hour)
Please get off at Sanjo Keihan station (meaning Keihan Railway Sanjo Station).
From the arrival station to Hanamikoji Street, it takes about 10 minutes’ walk.

From Nijo Castle, firstly please head for near subway station or bus stop.

The map below shows the locations of the station and the bus stop for Gion.
Both of them are beside the castle (about 2 minutes’ walk)

  Subway Nijojo-mae station is located to the south of the gate of the Castle.

  ♦ Kyoto City Bus Nijojo-mae bus stop is located on the opposite side of the Horikawa street, running in front of Nijo Castle.


The followings are the details of each travel way.

2. By Kyoto City Bus No.12 for Gion

From Nijo Castle to Gion area (Gion-Shirakawa, Hanamikoji Street, Gion-Corner, Yasaka Jinja Shrine and so on), it takes at least 33 to 38 minutes including walking and average waiting time by Kyoto City Bus  No.12

Bus  No.12  for Gion departs from Nijojo-mae bus stop A.

This bus stop is located on the opposite side of Horikawa street, running in front of the gate of Nijo Castle. (please refer to the location map above)

The followings are the details.

1. Head for Nijojo-mae Bus Stop A.

After getting out of the gate of Nijo Castle, walk to the left direction.

Then, you can see the crosswalk.
Please cross it (Horikawa street).

After crossing the Horikawa street, Nijojo-mae bus stop A is right ahead.

2. Take Kyoto City Bus No.12

At Nijojo-mae bus stop A, take Kyoto City Bus  No.12 .

Buses are operated almost every 15 minutes in the daytime.

3. Get off at Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop, and Go backward direction.

In about 20 minutes’ ride, bus arrives at Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop. please get off.

If you want to go Yasaka Jinja Shrine at first, you can also keep riding the bus and get off at Gion bus stop (need plus 10 minutes’ ride).

After getting off, head for the intersection beside the bridge, called Shijo-Ohashi intersection .

Cross the intersection to the east, now, you finally come to the west side of Gion area.

(4. Get off at Gion bus stop for Yasaka Jinja Shrine.)

In 10 more minutes’ ride, bus arrives at Gion bus stop. Please get off for Yasaka Jinja Shrine.

But, actually, the time is almost the same, or sometimes faster if you walk from Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop.

After getting off, now, you can see Yasaka Jinja shrine behind.

I’ll show you the location map in Gion in the following section 4.

3. By Subway + walk for Gion area

Kyoto City Subway Nijojo-mae station is located also just beside the Nijo Castle.

When you get out of the main gate of the castle, please turn right and cross the crosswalk, then subway station entrance (Exit 1) is on your right. It takes 2 minute from the main gate. (please refer to the map in the previous section)

For Gion-Shirakawa, Hanamikoji Street and Gion-Corner, please get off at Sanjo Keihan station.
For Yasaka Jinja Shrine, please get off at 
Higashiyama station.

The followings are the details.

1. Take any Subway Trains at Track No.2.

For Gion area, take any subway trains at track No.2 bound for Rokujizo or Biwako Hama-Otsu station.

The trains are operated a lot, more than 10 times per hour.
So, it is very usuful.

2. Get off at Sanjo Keihan Station (for Gion-Shirakawa, Hanamikoji St. and Gion-Corner), and Head for Exit 2.

In about 6 minutes, trains arrive at Sanjo Keihan station.

After getting out of the ticket gate, turn right, and head for Exit 2.

After getting out of the Exit 2, make U-turn for Gion-Shirakawa, and walk to the right direction along the street for Hanamikoji street (keep walking, and turn right at next intersection).

Please refer to the location map in the following section 4.

3. Get off at Subway Higashiyama Station (for Yasaka Jinja Shrine)

In about 7 minutes from Nijojo-mae station, trains arrive at Higashiyama station.

After getting out of the ticket gate, both of the Exits are O.K..

From Exit 2 (to the left), you can go to the shrine by way of Higashioji street.
From Exit 1 (to the right), you can go along the Shirakawa stream, which finally leads to Gion-Shirakawa area.
It is also enjoyable.

For example, from Higashiyama station Exit 1, cross the street and walk on the sidewalk of Shirakawa stream.

Keep walking along the sidewalk of Shirakawa stream for about 5 minutes, you comes to Higashioji street.

Then, walk on the street to the left direction, you come to Yasaka Jinja Shrine on your left in 4 minutes.
(please refer to the location map in the next section)

4. Location (access) Map in Gion area from Bus stops & Subway stations

The map below is the access to each attraction in Gion from bus stops (Shijo Keihan-mae & Gion) and near Subway stations (Sanjo-Keihan & Higashiyama).

Most attractions are within 10 minutes’ walk.

Please check !

 ♣ Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop : Gion Shirakawa (4 minutes’ walk), Hanamikoji street (5 minutes’ walk), Yasaka Jinja Shrine (7 minutes’ walk)

 ♣ Gion bus stop : Yasaka Jinja Shrine ( 10 more minutes’ bus ride + 1 minutes’ walk)

 ♦  Sanjo Keihan  station : Gion Shirakawa (6 minutes’ walk), Hanamikoji street (10 minutes’ walk)

 ♦  Higashiyama  station : Yasaka Jinja Shrine (10 minutes’ walk)

Many shops are available on the both side of the Shijo street in Gion area, so I recommend you get off at Shijo Keihan-mae bus stop and walk, if you visit Yasaka Jinja Shrine by bus.

In addition, from the Yasaka Jinja Shrine, you can also walk to Kiyomizu-dera Temple ! (about 20 minutes)


5. Attractions Information in Gion area

 Opening Hours & Admission Fee 

Kenninji Temple :
10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Close 5:00 p.m.)
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (Close 4:30 p.m.)
¥800 (adult) / ¥500 (Age 7 – 18)

Yasaka-jinjya Shrine :
Anytime / just visitting is for free

Gion Corner :
Time : Everydaystarting at 6:oo p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Duration : about 50 minutes
 ∗Only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday & National Holiday from Dec. till the second week of Mar.)
¥5,500 (aduit) / ¥3,850 (Age 16 – 22) / ¥3,300 (Age 7 -15) / Free (Age 0 – 6)

Hanamikoji Street :
Anytime / ¥ for free

Gion Shirakawa :
Anytime / ¥ for free