Stay at a traditional Japanese townhouse in Kyoto
Kyoto: the Geisha district of Gion
Kyoto is the heart of the Japan geisha world. Hidden in the narrow streets of downtown Kyoto, near the Gion District, you can find old wooden townhouses where geisha used to live. Geisha is Japanese for “performing artist”. Apprentice geisha are called Maiko,“Woman of Dance”, because dancing is the first thing they learn.
Geisha are highly skilled entertainers, who appear at high-end dinners, private parties and special events to add a special touch to the proceedings. She spends many years learning to play various musical instruments, sing, dance in order to be the perfect hostess in a party of men. Contrary to popular belief, geisha are not the Eastern equivalent of a prostitute; a misconception originating in the West due to interactions with Japanese courtesans, whose traditional attire is similar to that of geisha. The geisha name also lost some status duringWorld War II, because prostitutes began referring to themselves as “geisha girls” to American military men.
Live in Japan for a while
Rent a house in Kyoto and experience the city, by living like a local. We have rented a couple of traditional Japanese houses, exclusively available for customers of iki Travels. These houses are suitable for 2 up to 6 people and can be rented for minimal 3 days or more. The townhouses consist of one or more bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom and a simple kitchen. Immerse yourself and experience the real Kyoto.
Please consider that these houses are very popular and need to be booked long in advance. They can’t be booked individually, but only as part of an iki tour in Japan. On our website you can find many sample itineraries of possible tours in Japan: Sample itineraries Japan.
Gion for food lovers
Gion is Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, located around the Yasaka Shrine. The Gion district was built to accommodate travellers and pilgrims who came to pay their respects at the adjacent Yasaka-Jinja Shrine and Kodaiji Temple. It is filled with shops, restaurants, inns, teahouses and theaters. Gion attracts tourists with its high concentration of traditional wooden merchant houses. A nice (and expensive) place to dine, the street and its side alleys are lined with nicely preserved centuries-old geisha houses many of which now function as restaurants, serving Kyoto style Japanese haute cuisine. The atmosphere is nice, each dish is beautifully arranged and presented, only top quality ingredients are being used and the taste is delicious.
Are you interested in a ‘Kyoto for food lovers’ tour? Have a look at one of our special add-on tours: Kyoto for food lovers.