From Kyoto Station to Gion

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1. Overview

Gion area is the traditional Japanese entertainment district in Kyoto.

This Gion area is almost around Shijo Street between Yasaka-jinja shrine and Kamo river.

The Whole of the current Gion area was originally owned by Yasaka-jinja shrine, called “Gion shrine” in the old days. So, we call this district “Gion”.

In this Gion area, there are not only Yasaka-jinja shrine but also very beautiful townscape such as Gion-Shirakawa, Hanamikoji Street, the theater of Japanese traditional perfoming arts such as Gion Corner, famous for beautiful gardens and the oldest Zen-Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Kenninji Temple.

Along with the Shijo street, located in the center of Gion area, many kinds of shops and restaurants for visitors are available and enjoyable.

You can visit Kodaiji Temple, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Shijo-Kawaramachi (downtown) on foot after visiting Gion area.

So, let’s visit !

You can go to Gion area by Bus including Limited Express or by Trains (JR + Keihan) from Kyoto station.

The chart below is the overview of the location, transportation, time and fare.

SUMMARY

Transportation & Time, Location & Distance

   It takes about…

  1.  Bus   : at least 21 minutes’ ride 

  2.  Limited Express Bus   : at least 13 minutes’ ride 

  3.  Train (JR + Keihan Railway)   : 13 – 19 minutes‘ ride

  4.  Taxi   : about 15 minutes

  5.  Bicycle   : about 25 minutes (not recommended, because of not enough parking space near this area)

Gion area is located in the East of Kyoto city.

The distance from Kyoto Station is 2 mile (3.3 km).

You need more time and taxi fare on peak season because of heavy traffic jam.

Near bus stop to Hanamikoji street in Gion

(1)  walk 4 minutes from Gion bus stop

  

 Near station to Hanamikoji Street in Gion  

(1)  walk 3 minutes from Gion-Shijo Station (Keihan Railway)

2. By Bus

Normaly, from Kyoto station to the Gion area, Kyoto City Bus No. 86  and  206   are available. (Note!  No.86  are operated by Kyoto City Bus and Kyoto Bus in turn! Of course you can take any bus No.86.)  Bus  No.106  is also available, but this bus is extremely infrequent.
It takes about 21 minutes, and both are the same route to Gion area.

Only on weekends & holidays,  Bus No.100  is also available. This bus is limited express, so, it takes 13 minutes, and the fare is higher ¥500 than usual ¥230. Please note that currently, only for limited express bus, you need to pay the fare, when you get on.  This limited express bus accepts Subway & Bus One-day Pass. If you take more buses or subways, it will be a good deal!

The followings are the details.

On schedule, how long each bus route takes and how often they operate are usually about…

 No.86  21 minutes1 time per hour (weekdays), 2 times per hour (weekends & holidays)

 No.206   : 21 minutes 8 times per hour (5:30a.m. to 11:00p.m.)

 No.106  21 minutes2  times per day (rarely operated)

In case of  weekends & holidays…

 No.EX100  13 minutes  4 times per hour (morning to noon), 2 times per hour (afternoon)

Please note that…

it may takes more time on peak season because of heavy traffic jam.

Peak season : cherry blossam (late March to early April), autumn leaves (November) and consecutive holidays in Japan (late April to early May)

2-1 Bus Stops Information at Kyoto Station

There ara many bus stops in Kyoto Station.

When you ride, which bus stop in Kyoto Station can you ride those buses for Gion area ?

Please find out the bus stops displayed…

 D2  for Bus No. 206 86  and  106 

 D1  for Bus No. EX100 

These bus stops are located in north side of Kyoto Station, between Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station.

Note!   86  are operated by Kyoto City Bus and Kyoto Bus in turn!

2-2 Bus Stops Information near Gion area

The bus stop that you get off is Gion bus stop.

Gion bus stop is located near Yasaka-jinja Shrine. 

From the bus stop, it takes about 4 minutes’ walk to Hanamikoji Street, 5 minutes’ walk to Gion-Shirakawa, 6 minutes’ walk to Gion Corner, 8 minnutes’ walk to Kenninji Temple.

The followings are the details.

1. After Getting off, Walk backward.

After getting off the bus, please walk to backward direction, so you come to the intersection just in front of Yasaka-jinja Shrine soon.

Then turn right, that is the starting point of Shijo Street passing through the center of Gion area !

2-3 Location Map from Gion bus stop to Each Attraction

The map below is the access from Gion bus stop to each attraction.

Please check !

2-4 Bus Route Maps

If you want to know the route or ride time of the Bus No. 86 ,  206  and  EX100 , please check the maps below.

3. By Trains (JR & Keihan Railway)

On peak seoson (late March, early April, weekends in November or Japanese holidays), those buses for Gion tend to be very crowded and delay because all those buses are by way of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, one of the most popular attractions in Kyoto.

So, by taking trains (JR Nara line & Keihan Railway) for Gion , you can move relatively on schedule.

The nearest station for Gion area is Gion-Shijo on  Keihan Railway .

It takes about less than 20 minutes from Kyoto station to Gion-Shijo, including transfer time from  JR Nara line  to  Keihan Railway  at Tofukuji station.

The fare is normaly ¥320. (But it is discounted to ¥300 if you ride by Connection Ticket or by any IC Cards, when you transfer from  JR  to  Keihan  at Tofukuji station)

Gion-Shijo station is located underground such as subway.

It takes about 2 minutes’ walk to Gion-Shirakawa area from the station exit No.9, and 3 minutes’ walk to Hanamikoji Street, 6 minutes’ walk to Yasaka-jinja Shrine or Gion Corner, 8 minutes’ walk to Kenninji Temple from the station exit No.6.  

If you need escalator or elevator to go up, please use those exit (escalator for exit No.5 or elevator for exit No.7). Those two exits are also convenient to each famous spot in Gion area.

The followings are the detail.

3-1 From Kyoto Station to Gion-Shijo Station via Tofukuji Station

1. Take JR Nara line to Tofukuji Station.

At Kyoto station, take JR Nara line trains (departing from track No.8, 9 or 10). All rapid and local trains stop next station, Tofukuji, where you will transfer.

The trains are usually operated about 6 times per hour.

In 2 or 3 minutes, trains arrive at Tofukuji Station.

2. Transfer to Keihan Railway at Tofukuji Station

At JR Tofukuji station, 2 ways to transfer to Keihan Railway.

One is the gate only for transfer to Keihan Railway, located the rear end of the platform you just get off. (Open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.)

The other is the main tickete gate, located on the 2nd floor near the front end of the platform.

By any ways, you need to go through ticket gates 2 times. (Firstly, get out of JR ticket gate, then go into Keihan Railway ticket gate)

In case of main gate, please head for the ticket gate of Keihan line for Sanjo, Demachiyanagi.

The map below is Transfer Map at Tofukuji Station, please check !

If you are at track No.1 of Keihan Tofukuji station, you are O.K.

Trains ara operated every 10 minute. All the trains take you to Gion-Shijo station.

3. Get off at Gion-Shijo Station.

In 5 minutes, the train arrives at Gion-Shijo station, the third station from Tofukuji.

The station is , as you know, located underground such as subway.

3-2  From Gion-Shijo Station to Each Attraction

The location map below shows one of the ways to each attraction from Gion-Shijo station, please check !

The followings are the details.

1. Get out of the ticket gate, Find out the Exit for your Destination.

After arriving at Gion-Shijo station, please find out the convenient Exit for your destination.

The Escalator is Exit 5, the elevator is Exit 7.
To Gion Shirakawa, please head for Exit 9 at the far end.
To Yasaka-jinja Shrine, Hanamikoji Street, Gion Corner or Kenninji Temple, Exit 6 is convenient.

2. The Exit 6 of Gion-Shijo Station

This is the Exit 6 of Keihan Railway Gion-Shijo station.
The Exit 6 is under the Minamiza Kabuki Theater.

Walk to the right direction for Hanamikoji Street or Gion Corner.

3. The Exit 9 of Gion-Shijo Station.

This is the Exit 9, convenient for Gion Shirakawa.
Walk forward untill you pass by small river.

After crossing the small river (named Shirakawa River in Japanese), turn right.

Soon, you come to the Gion Shirakawa area.

3-3 Route Map for Gion by JR & Keihan Railway

The map below is a route map from Kyoto station to Gion by JR & Keihan Railway.

Please check, if necessary.

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4. 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