Walking through the streets of Gion, makes you feel like you have been transported back in time. If you go out at night you might even be lucky enough to see a real Maiko or Geisha. This area truly retains the history of the old capital. There are many traditional restaurants.
Gion is the most famous place in Japan for spotting Geisha; although here they use the local term, ‘Geiko’, which translates to mean a ‘person of the arts’. When I visited, I wasn't fortunate enough to see one, which was a shame. However, I still enjoyed my stroll through the area. The path is littered with loads of traditional old streets lined with even older houses; with a mix of theatres and other traditional entertainment. A nice place for a stroll, and maybe if you are lucky you will see a Geiko wandering around.
Gion is a lovely area to just take a stroll and enjoy the traditionally kept streets. I like how the area is split up into a main street (Shijo Dori), with its wealth of traditional goods and tourist shopping spots, and a number of side streets, which are quieter and more reminiscent of an "older" Japan. I particularly enjoy the walk north of Shijo Dori, which if you walk far enough you will reach a small stream/canal (Shirakawa minami dori). This area is great for photos, with large sakura trees cascading over the trickling stream. There are a number of fine restaurants where you can dine and look out along the stream as well, but they tend to be quite pricy.
For someone like me who likes to take walks, enjoy the sights of everyday life, and take a few photos, Gion is perfect! You might even catch a glimpse of a few geisha/maiko if you are lucky!
*Note: If you are going during the cherry blossom season, then I would bump this review up to 5 stars!