February 17, 2014

by Maria Kakiuchi and Akane Ogawa

Oiran was a kind of ‘woman of pleasure’ of the Edo period (1600~1868) in Japan. Unlike common street prostitutes, oiran were glamorous courtesans, who were cultivated in the traditional Japanese arts, the classics, calligraphy, tea ceremony, waka poetry, the shamisen (Japanese harp), and the game of go. This made them primarily entertainers. They were very popular in the brothels of the Yoshiwara in Edo (now Tokyo), Shinmachi in Osaka, and Shimabara in Kyoto. One can read about oiran in traditional Japanese literature, as well as see images of them in ukio-e, a genre of woodblock prints and paintings. Of course the oiran seen in ukiyoe works is more opulent than real.

The Way of Oiran

Back in the Edo period, sometime prostitutes were put on display behind bars for potential customers to look at. This practice was called harimise. Oiran, however, did not practice harimise. On the contrary, oiran took an active role in the process of selecting a customer. In this way, we might say that the oiran chose the customer, rather than the other way around.

If a man really wanted to be with an oiran, he first had to make contact with a tea house and have lots of money. Next, he had to engage in a three-step process to get together with an orian. In the first step, the oiran just sits and observes the customer. She does not eat, drink, or talk, but rather just gets a feeling for the potential customer. If he passes that stage, the next time he comes, the oiran gets closer to the customer, but doesn’t interact much. This is also a testing period. Finally, if the man makes it to the third stage, he can go into a room with the oiran. He must present her with a set of chopsticks with his name engraved into them, along with an envelope of congratulatory money. From that point, he is forbidden to visit other prostitutes. To do so would be considered cheating, and would be seen as a great insult.

What is Oiran-Dochu?

In edo period, the oiran would dress in their best costumes to go and collect their valued customers and bring them to the teahouse and on a special day. Then they would parade around the area of the pleasure quarter with their most beautiful and ornate clothing on display. This included the wearing of two combs, and six Japanese hairpins in the front and six in the back. This style of Japanese hairpin was particular a sign of nobility.

Differences Between Oiran and Geisha

Some people might certainly ask the question, “What is the difference between a geisha and an oiran? Aren’t they the same thing?” The answer is, “No.” Although they appear to be similar, in that they both dress up in beautiful traditional clothing and entertain guests, the geisha never were involved in prostitution like the oiran were. Instead, the geisha specialized in playing the host at private parties, with dancing, music, and games. In fact, the rise of the geisha corresponded with the fall of the oiran. They were much more accessible to the common visitor, rather than just for rich men who wanted sex.

Dress Up Like Oiran for a Day

Although the oiran have died out, the tradition of dressing like one still remains. In fact, you can experience dressing like oiran yourself right here in Kyoto! The place is called, Oiran Keiken Studio Yumekoubou, which translates into something like ‘Oiran Experience Dream Studio.’ If you want to take some amazing photos of yourself dressed like an Edo period Oiran, there are the steps you need to take:

1. Call to book an appointment. You should try to book one as soon as possible, because sometimes it’s already fully scheduled.

2. Go to the studio on the day and time of your appointment and the staff will give you some information about oiran.

3. Get your face made up by professional make-up artist. Then, if you have an image that you want to be, for example, looks big eyes, be sexy, pretty and so on, just tell your image to them and they will make it happen. It doesn’t matter if you are already wearing make-up or not when you arrive. They will take care of everything. If, however, your skin is weak or has some alleges, you should tell your artist about it before he or she gets started. It’s okay to put contacts on, but it could be a bit uncomfortable, so make sure you bring your contacts case with you in case you have to take them out. Also, if you really want to put on the make-up by yourself, you can. But there is no telling how it will look.

4. Choose your hairstyle. There are mainly 2 styles.

Classic style. This is a wig. Ornamental hairpins are the main characteristic. We recommend it for people who have short hair.
Modern stylehttp://search.creativecommons.org/
Modern style. This is done with all of your real hair. No wigs involved.
You can choose the hairstyle you want, and the artists will do it for you.
The classic style is popular with most customers because it gives them the traditional image of being Japanese, just like the oiran really were back then.

5. Choose a kimono. There are about 30 different kinds of kimono in the studio, so you can choose the one you want to try. Kimono are all the same cost, so you can choose the color and design freely.

6. Take pictures. A professional photographer will take your picture. The purpose of taking the picture is you get right into oiran. Then, the photographer will capture your beauty. A space is also provided so that you can take pictures with your own camera. You can’t have an experience like this so often, so this is a perfect opportunity to capture your memories of Japan.

Our photoThe authors of this article dressed as oiran.

7. Choose the photos you want to keep. If you see some really good ones, you can buy them directly from the studio.

Points to note

* Pregnant women cannot dress up like oiran, because of the tight girdle they must wear.

* There is no parking area. Therefore, you should come by bus or taxi. The studio is very close to Gion bus stop.

How to get there from Kyoto station…

  • Use the bus…Catch the bus that number 100 or 206 and get the bus off by Gion bus stop. Then, your back toward to Yasaka shrine and go straight the Shijyo-street. When you can see “Akaneya”(あかねや), turn right.
  • Use the taxi…Tell the driver “Shijyo-kiritoshi”. You go about 50m in Kiritoshi, then the place is left side.
  • Any photos you buy are sent to your house one month later.
  • It takes about 3 hours from start to finish to complete the dressing up like oiran process.
  • There is no age limit, so anyone can dress up like oiran.
  • There are people who can speak English, so don’t worry about language.

You want to make good memories in Japan, why don’t you try it!


花魁体験STUDIO 夢工房
Oiran Keiken Studio Yumekoubou


Kyoto-city, Higashiyama-ku, Yasaka shinchi sueyoshi86


Junya Kitagawa and Miki Suzuki


As sushi is now well known all over the world, there are many sushi bars located in many different countries, and a lot of people have become familiar with it.  All over Japan you can find sushi bars serving many different kinds.  “Mamezushi”, which we would like to introduce here, is one type that originated in Kyoto.

“Mamezushi” is often called “Maiko zushi”, too, because its birthplace was Gion, in Kyoto, an area which is also famous for Maiko, or apprentice Geisha.  Maiko have a cute little button for a mouth, with the perfect size and shape for eating sushi.  Mamezushi means small sushi bean in English, as the shape is small and spherical.

In top-class Japanese restaurants, 15 kinds of Mamezushi are presented in a box and served to customers.  The kinds of mamezushi shown here, are from the upper left, squid sandwiched between sheets of kelp, mackerel oshizushi, bamboo shoot, pickled tuna, masuzushi, pouch of fried bean curd stuffed with vinegared rice, shrimp, butterbur, egg, pickled rape blossoms, kelp boiled in sweetened soy sauce, eel, Japanese ginger, with squid and pickled ginger to the lower right.  When the customer first removes the lid to begin to eat, they cannot help but be impressed with the beautiful colors before them, and almost always feel the urge to take pictures of it.  However they not only look elegant but also have a very refined taste.  Each one tastes different to the others, and we do not have to put on any soy sauce, which makes it a little healthier for us.









Restaurant Mametora

There is really only one place where we can eat Mamezushi in Kyoto, and this is the top-class restaurant “Mametora”.  This restaurant has a calm atmosphere and is peaceful and comfortable.  The restaurant is located on Hanami-Koji Street, which is actually quite  noisy, however, you do not notice that once inside the restaurant.  There are 3 types of seating available here:  the counter seat, where you can see the inner garden, a private room, where you can eat lunch or dinner in privacy and relaxation, and on a covered table placed over a recess in the floor of a Japanese-style room.  Of course, you can enjoy a special lunch or dinner whichever seating arrangement you choose.

The restaurant has two service times, lunch time and dinner time.  Lunch time is from 11:30 a.m. to 02:00 p.m. and dinner time is from 05:00 p.m. to 09:00 p.m.  At lunch time two options are available, one is “Mamezushi-Zen”, which consists of five courses.The main course Mamezushi, is served 4th, and before that courses containing foods in season are offered, with the final course being a dessert.  The other option is “Mamezushi-Sara Zen”, which consists of 6 courses, and offers many kinds of foods in small dishes in addition to the courses of “Mamezushi-Zen”.  At dinner time there are other options.  The first is ”Mamezushi-Kaiseki”, with different courses.  With this you can eat Mamezushi, deep-fried food, grilled fish, meat, or chicken, and 4 courses containing foods in season.  The second is “Choice Mamezushi-Kaiseki”, which offers 6 courses.  In addition to the courses offered in “Mamezushi-Kaiseki” we can eat one-pot type dish cooked at the table.  “Mamezushi-Kaiseki” costs ¥3,800 per person, “Mamezushi0-Sara Zen ” costs ¥5,800 per person, “Mamezushi-Kaiseki” costs ¥9,680 per person, and “Choice Mamezushi-Kaiseki” costs ¥13,200 per person.  As the dinner courses are so expensive, we recommend you try the lunch courses.  They are very reasonable and you can enjoy plenty of Mamezushi.  Fundamentally, the restaurant does not close on a regular day, however, on holidays, there will surely be a lot of customers and few empty seats.  Therefore, making a reservation before arrival is certainly a good idea.  You can actually now make reservations either by telephone or online.


 There are a lot of ways to access this restaurant because it is located in the heart of Kyoto city, and near some famous places, for example, Kiyomizu-Temple and Yasaka-Shrine.

・Kyoto City Bus: you can take the “Gion Express” bus from Kyoto Station to Gion Bus Station, and thereafter it is a 3 minutes   walk to the restaurant.

・Keihan-train: if you take the train, please get off at Sanjo-Keihan Station, and thereafter take a 5 minute walk to the restaurant.

・Hankyu-train: if you take this train, please get off at Kawaramachi Station, and then take an 8 minute walk to the restaurant.

・phone number:075 532 3955

Additional informationI

In addition to enjoying this great traditional cuisine, please visit the two places of interest mentioned before.  Kiyomizu-Temple is very famous, and many travelers wish to visit it.  The view from this temple is really beautiful, and will give great memories.  Yasaka-Shrine is also famous, and especially for its connection to the “Gion festival”.  If you have time, please visit these wonderful places, too.

Gion Festival

By  Namiho Nakazawa

What is “Gion Festival”?

Gion Festival is one of Japan’s biggest and most important festivals, and is held over a one-month period every year from July 1st to 31st.  There are many different events, but two in particular are very well known:  The Yamaboko Junko, a procession of floats on July 17th, and Yoiyama, the events over three evenings leading up to the procession day.  The streets are lined with night stalls selling drinks and food such as yakitori (barbecued chicken on skewers), taiyaki, takoyaki, okonomiyaki, traditional sweets, and many other great food items.  Many girls (and some guys) dress up in yukata (summer cotton kimono) and walk around, carrying traditional purses and paper fans.

The Yamaboko

Origins and history

The Gion Festival begins with ‘Goryoue’, an act of praying to ward of plagues and epidemics.  During the Heiankyo era, there were a number of recorded plagues and epidemics, and in ‘Hojouki’, written by Kamanochomei, it says the Kamogawa River was, “filled with the bodies of the dead.”  Goryoue, then, dates back to the year 869 as a religious ceremony to appease the gods during the outbreak of epidemics and pestilence.  Even in modern times, the practice of selecting a local boy to act as a divine messenger is carried on, and remains an integral part of the festival ceremonies.  This child, the messenger of the gods, is not allowed to walk on the ground from the day of the 13th until after he has been paraded through downtown Kyoto on the 17th.

The word ‘Yamaboko’ refers to the two types of float used in the procession, and there are actually 23 ‘yama’ and 9 ‘hoko’ involved in the proceedings.  In fact, it is the size and grandeur of these floats which make the Gion Festival such an amazing spectacle.  The hoko can be up to 25 meters in height, and weigh upwards of 12 tons.  In addition, the wheels are about the size of a full grown adult.  Both yama and hoko are elaborately decorated and represent unique themes.

The Yamaboko

The main event

While they are on display along Shijo street and some side roads, some of the floats can be entered by tourists, with the area becoming most exciting in the evenings.  From 18:00 until 23:00, the streets are closed to traffic and the area fills up with food stands, drink vendors, and other festival related things. These three main evenings leading up to the procession day are known as ‘Yoiyama’ (July 16), Yoiyoiyama (July 15) and Yoiyoiyoiyama (July 14).

Other key events

Gion Festival’s other events are perhaps not as impressive as the main event to some, but are really enjoyable nonetheless.  From July 10th to 14th, for example, visitors can watch the Yamaboko being erected and pulled into place.  Furthermore, the Byobu Festival, which includes the days of Yoiyama, sees local residents opening up the entrances to their homes to passersby to show off their family heirlooms and artifacts.

The procession of a ‘mikoshi’ takes place from 18.00 on the 17th, starting at Yasaka Shrine and ending at the Otabisho.  This event involves parading the shrine’s deity from the shrine environs to the downtown area in the mikoshi, a portable shrine.  It is lifted and carried exuberantly by a large group of local men dressed in traditional festival clothing, and is occasionally shaken vigorously in response to encouragement from onlookers.  The mikoshi is finally returned to the main shrine on July 24th.

My experience

In my experience, this festival is really, really hot in two ways.  One, there are a huge number of people on the road from Shijo-Horikawa to Shijo-Kawaramachi, with almost no room to move.  Second, people from all over the world come to this festival, and scenes from it are broadcast on TV globally.  It’s a real once in a lifetime experience!  I hope you have the chance to see it one day.



Die Hanamikôji-Straße

von  Chihiro Kato und Enami Sekiya
Die Hanamikôji-Straße liegt südlich von Gion, einem Stadtviertel von Kyôto, in dessen Zentrum der Yasaka-Schrein liegt.
In Gion gibt es ein Kabuki-Theater namens „Minamiza“ und berühmte Cafés wie das „Tsujiri“ oder „Gion-Koishi“.
Auch das „Gion-Fest“ im Juli ist sehr beliebt. Man kann in Gion traditionelle Kyôtoer Küche essen und das Yûzen-Stofffärben ausprobieren.

Die Hanamikoji Straße

Die Hanamikoji Straße

Die Hanamikôji-Straße verläuft zwischen der Sanjô-Straße und dem Kenninji-Tempel und ist etwa 1.4 km lang.

Es ist eine Straße mit ganz typischem Kyôtoer Flair. Der Teil der Straße, der nördlich von der Shijô-Straße liegt, besitzt eine andere Atmosphäre als der südliche Teil. Im Norden gibt es viele Gebäude, zum Beispiel Pubs, Bars und Bürogebäude.
Im Süden gibt es Teehäuser und Restaurants. Hier kann man alte Häuserreihen sehen, obwohl die Geschichte der Straße nicht so weit in die Vergangenheit zurückreicht.

Es ist sehr entspannend, die Hanamikôji-Straße zu Fuß entlang zu laufen. Des Öfteren trifft man dabei auf „Maikos“, also Kabuki-Schauspielerinnen, die sich noch in der Ausbildung befinden. Nicht jeder kann eine Maiko werden, sondern nur Mädchen unter 20 Jahren. Mittags kann man auch Maikos sehen, jedoch sind viele dieser Maikos keine wirklichen Geisha-Schülerinnen, sondern nur junge Mädchen im Maiko-Kostüm, welche den Besuch in Gion für Schüler aus anderen Teilen Japans, die nach Kyôto auf Klassenfahrt kommen, zu einem Erlebnis machen sollen. Wenn man echte Maikos sehen möchte, sollte man am Abend in die Hanamikôji-Straße kommen.
Das „Naruya“ ist ein berühmtes Teehaus. Hier kann man „Warabimochi“ essen, eine japanische Süßigkeit, die aus Wasser, Zucker und japanischem Mochi-Reiskuchen besteht. „Warabimochi“ verderben schnell, und der Geschmack verliert sich bald nach der Zubereitung. Deshalb ist es am besten, frische Warabimochi sofort gekühlt zu verzehren. Man isst sie mit „Kuromitsu-Sirup“ oder bestreut mit „Kinako“, einem gezuckerten Pulver aus Sojabohnen. Bei Japanern ist diese Süßigkeit sehr beliebt.

Dressing Up as a Maiko in Kyoto

by Naoko Iseki and Hajime Yozaki

Maiko and geiko are traditional performers whose job it is to add zest to a dinner by singing, dancing, and playing the shamisen. They are also a symbol of traditional Japanese culture. Are you interested in maiko and geiko and the kimono they wear? Kimono is one of the most well-known traditional costumes in Japan. Perhaps, we associate kimono with maiko and geiko. They are really beautiful!

Visitors to Kyoto can also dress up as a maiko. Here is what some customers said about their experience:

  • “I study about Japanese culture at a university in the United States. I became interested in Japanese culture when I first saw kimono. Though I have been to Kyoto three times, it was the first time for me to dress up as a maiko. Kimono was easier to wear than I expected. There are lots of beautiful kimono, and it is very hard to find a kimono I love.”
  • “Becoming a maiko was one of my dreams since I was a child. The material of kimono is very good, and also the staff were very helpful.”
  • “My daughter was very pleased to dress up as a maiko. And through the experience of dressing up as a maiko, she seemed to be able to understand Kyoto’s traditional culture.”
  • “When I dressed up as maiko, many foreigners believed I was a real maiko and took pictures of me.”
  • “I felt that face powder was cool. At first, I was shy to apply ruby lipstick because I’m not accustomed to using make up.”
  • “Because I wore a beautiful kimono, I tried to walk deliberately, I could become a maiko.”

Now, we will introduce some shops where you can dress up as a maiko in Kyoto.


The main office is located near Kiyomizu Temple. After being transformed into a maiko, you can go for a walk around Kodaiji Temple, Nene Road, Sannen-zaka, Ninen-zaka, Yasaka Shrine, and Chion-in Temple. Shiki has 200 kimono, and you can choose which one you want to wear.

Sample Plans

Maiko Studio Photography Plan
Cost: 9,975 yen
Time required: two hours and ten minutes
・Contents: twelve poses taken in the studio, and a photo book containing twelve pages

Maiko Stroll Plan
Cost: 13,000 yen
Time required: two and a half hours
・Contents: twelve poses taken in the studio, a stroll lasting an hour, and a photo book containing twelve pages

Samurai Plan (for men)
Cost: 8,500 yen
Time required: one hour and 50 minutes
・Contents: twelve poses taken in the studio, and a photo book containing twelve pages


Address: 351-16, Masuya-cho, Kodaiji-Minamimon, Higasiyama-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN
Access: a five-minute walk from the city bus stop “Kiyomizu-michi”
Tel: 075-531-2777 Fax: 075-533-2244

HP: http://www.maiko-henshin.com/index2.html

Shiki also has two branches, Sakura and Kitano.


The first branch is located in Gion. You can take a walk around Kiyomizu Temple, Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Sanjusangen-do, and Kenninji Temple. Sakura has 150 kimono, and you can choose which one you want to wear.

Sample Plans

Maiko Sakura Plan
Cost: 6,500 yen
Time required: one hour and 50 minutes
・Contents: two poses taken in the studio, and an album containing two pages

Maiko Studio Photography Plan
Cost: 8,900 yen
Time required: two hours
・Contents: six poses taken in the studio, and an album containing six pages

Samurai Plan (for men)
Cost: 6,500 yen
Time required: one hour and 20 minutes
・Contents: two poses taken in the studio, and an album containing two pages


Address: Building-Shiki, 110-9 Tatsumi-cho, Todaiji-Matubara noboru, Higasiyama-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN
Access: the shop is front of the city bus stop “Kiyomizu-Michi”
Tel: 075-533-6666 Fax: 075-533-6667
E-mail and HP are the same as the main office


The second branch of Shiki is located near Kinkakuji Temple. Nearby are Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine and Ryoanji Temple. Kitano has 150 kimono, too, and you can choose which one you want to wear. The plans available at Kitano branch are almost the same as the main office, Shiki.

Address: 54-4, Hiranotoriimachi-Cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN
Access: Near the city bus stop “Wara-Tenjin-Mae”
Tel: 075-462-3777 Fax: 075-462-1117
E-mail and HP are the same as the main office

※If you want to dress up as a geiko, you have to pay an additional 2,100 yen.


The shop is located near Kyoto Station. Maika has 400 kimono, and you can choose which one you want to wear.

Sample Plans

Okigaru Plan
Cost: 6,500 yen
Time required: one hour
・Contents: two pictures, and free photography in the shop

※If you want to dress up as geiko, you have to pay an additional 1,500 yen.

Aoi Plan
This is the most popular plan in this shop!
Cost: 13,650 yen
Time required: one hour and a half
・Contents: four pictures, 60 minutes’ free photography, and a 30-minute stroll from the shop to Ebisu Shrine

Miyako Plan
Cost: 15,750 yen
Time required: one hour and 45 minutes
・Contents: four pictures, 60 minutes’ free photography in the shop, and a 45-minute stroll from the shop to Kenninnji Temple

Okigaru Samurai Plan
Cost: 6,500 yen
Time required: one hour
・Contents: two pictures, 60 minutes’ free photography in the shop

Shinsen-Gumi Plan
Cost: 12,600 yen
Time required: one hour and 20 minutes (max.)
・Contents: two pictures, and 60 minutes’ free photography in the shop


Address: 4-297, Miyagawa-suji, Shijo-kudaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN
Access: a three-minute walk from the station “Gion-Shijo,” on the Keihan line or a five-minute walk from the station “Shijo-Kawaramachi,” on the Hankyu line
Tel: 075-551-1661
HP: http://www.maica.tv/index.htm


This shop is located near Kiyomizu Temple.

Sample Plans

Hannari Plan
Cost: 8,800 yen
Time required: one hour
・Contents: a post card, and a free photograph
※This shop accepts only 3 groups per day for the plan.

Maiko Geisha Henshin Plan
Cost: 19,800 yen
Time required: one hour and a half
・Contents: four pictures, and free photography
※With this plan, you can experience dressing up as both a maiko and a geiko.

Shinsen-gumi Plan
Cost: 9,000 yen
Time required: 40 minutes
・Contents: two pictures, and free photography
※Women also can experience this plan.


Address: 6-583-70, Gojobashi-higashi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, JAPAN
Access: a five-minute walk from the city bus stop “Gojo-Zaka”
Tel/ Fax 075-531-1166
HP: http://www.maiko-taiken.com/index.html

Café OKU

by Kanako Sano; Saori Tomita
O café OKU fica em Gion, Quioto. Este estabelecimento foi inaugurado em 2006 para dar a conhecer a beleza cultural do Japão. OKU alia um design moderno às técnicas tradicionais do Japão.

Logo na entrada podemos ver uma exposição de porcelana. Esta é a mesma louça usada para servir os clientes no café. No exterior, há um jardim japonês. Ele é pequeno, mas maravilhoso.

As comidas são muito gostosas. O pudim, o zenzai, o warabi-mochi e os doces são os mais famosos e populares. Recomenda-se vivamente a sobremesa “gateau set”. O dacquoise de chá, o sorvete de erva, o warabi-mochi e o chá verde são preparados com ingredientes especiais.

A decoração do estabelecimento e do jardim, bem como o cardápio, mudam consoante as estações do ano.

570-119 Gionmachi-minamigawa Higashiyama-ku
Quioto JAPÃO 605-0074
TEL: 075-531-4776
Horário de funcionamento: 11:00-19:00
Encerra à segunda-feira


by Sachiko Okubo; Eri Sakuma; Kota Tsujimoto

Quioto foi a capital do Japão de 794 a 1868 e hoje é o espaço onde podemos encontrar a cultura tradicional japonesa, por existir nessa cidade muitos templos, festivais, teatros, danças, cerimônias, esculturas, etc…


O Bairro de Gion é denominado o Bairro do Prazer por ser o local onde havia muito entretenimento e a circulação da alta cultura e literatura.
O Bairro de Gion é uma das principais áreas de Quioto em relação à cultura japonesa pois em Gion encontramos as Gueixas, o teatro japonês, os festivais, a cerimônia do chá, as comidas típicas, templos e muito mais.

Gion Shinbashi

Localiza-se ao Norte da Avenida Shijo e de leste a oeste há casas de chá de luxo, uma ao lado da outra, possuindo um ambiente bem típico desse bairro.


Se for de ônibus descer no ponto de Gion que fica cerca de 8 minutos desse local.
Se for de trêm pela Keihan Densha descer na estação de Shijo que fica cerca de 8 minutos do local.
Se for pela Hankyu Densha descer na estação de Kawaramachi que fica cerca de 10 minutos do local.

Hanami Koji

Localiza-se no centro do Bairro de Gion e é uma avenida que segue de Norte a Sul. Na parte ao Sul da avenida Shijo há casas de chá e restaurantes típicos japoneses. E o Gion Kobu Kabu Renjo fica nesta rua com suas danças tradicionais, que são apresentadas pelas Gueixas e Maikos.


Se for de ônibus descer no ponto de Gion que fica cerca de 1 minutos do local.
Se for de trêm pela Keihan Densha descer na estação de Shijo que fica cerca de 8 minutos do local. E se for pela Hankyu Densha descer na estação de Kawaramachi que fica cerca de 10 minutos do local.


O teatro mais antigo do Japão, onde pode-se apreciar uma das formas mais tradicionais de teatro japonês: o Kabuki.


Se for de ônibus descer no ponto de Gion que fica cerca de 3 minutos do local.
Se for de trêm pela Keihan Densha descer na estação de Shijo que saindo pela saida 6 já esta proximo do local.
Se for pela Hankyu Densha descer na estação de Kawaramachi sair pela saída 1 que fica a 3 minutos do local.

Entrada:Varia conforme a peça

Santuário Xintoísta de Yasaka

Localiza‐se na zona leste de Gion e também é conhecido como Gion-san e suas divindades protegem de doenças e ajudam na agricultura.


Se for de ônibus descer no ponto de Gion que fica cerca de 2 minutos do local.
Se for de trêm pela Keihan Densha descer na estação de Shijo que fica cerca de 8 minutos do local.
Se for pela Hankyu Densha descer na estação de Kawaramachi que fica cerca de 10 minutos do local.


Gion Matsuri

Gion Matsuri é uma das três maiores festas do Japão, que é realizada todos os anos no mês de julho,tendo como objetivo afastar o infortúnio.
O clímax desta festa é no dia 17 de julho,quando os carros alegóricos de vários bairros desfilam pelas ruas do centro de Quioto.

Classic Film Theaters in Kyoto

by Ayaka Okochi

Minami Kaikan

Minami Kaikan is a small movie theater located near Toji Temple in the south part of Kyoto. The movie company RCS has handled. The movie theater since 1990, which screens more than 300 films every year.

courtesy of storage.kanshin.com


Kyoto is often called a movie city because of the old movie studios that are located in Uzumasa. Shochiku, a major studio, still operates in Kyoto today. Kyoto was the center of the Japanese movie industry in the 1950s and 60s. What is often screened at Kyoto movie theaters are not original movies that were made in Kyoto, but those that anyone can see in Tokyo. The number of “mini-theaters” or small independent theaters has been decreasing ever since the arrival of “cinema complexes” and also because now it is easier for people to rent movies from their neighborhood video rental shops. It is not an exaggeration to say that mini-theaters in Kyoto are rather poor when seen from a business standpoint.

Characteristics of the Mini-Theaters

Movies that are not shown in other theaters are screened in mini-theaters: documentaries, short animations, foreign films, experimental films, and old classics. Young people are able to see old films here. By watching old films, some story-telling techniques that are often used in contemporary movies can be discovered. For example, some famous directors of today sometimes use the same composition and camera angles as those pioneered by old movie directors. The mini-theater teaches us that valuable lessons are available in art from the past.

from: www.minipara.com/

Minami Kaikan

from: www.minipara.com/

Location: about 3 minutes on foot from Kintetsu Kyoto Line, Toji Station

Special discounts:

  • Yukata or Kimono discount: people who wear kimono or yukata from July 14th to August 31st will pay 1000 yen for all movies
  • Pair discount on Thursday: couples, parent and child, friends… any pair can get in for 2000 yen
        Schedule: there are about 20 movies being shown this month.


    Gion Kaikan

    Gion Kaikan opened as a rental hall in 1958. A piano symposium, a fashion show, and even a boxing bout were all once held there. There is a “flower road” (stage) in this movie theater because Gion Odori, a dance performance by Maiko and Geisha, is held there every November. The first performance of Gion Odori at the Gion Kaikan was in 1953. The Gion Kaikan has now become a movie theater famous for second-run double-features,so it is especially popular among students. Popular films from Japan, Hollywood, and South Korea are mostly shown. The staff thinks carefully about the combination of films. They try to select two films that work well together, or that have similar themes such as science fiction, romance or action.


    10 minutes on foot east from Hankyu Kyoto Line, Kawaramachi Station
    5 minutes on foot east from Keihan Line, Shijo Station

    adult: 1600 yen
    students (college and high school): 1300 yen
    students (junior and elementary school): 1000 yen
    senior (over 60):1000 yen

    Service every Thursday: all movies are 1000 yen

Organic Food Restaurants

by Hiroki Koizumi; Mika Onishi; Aya Kataoka
Gion is a famous and popular area in Kyoto because it has many high-class, Japanese-style restaurants and bars. So you might see a geisha or maiko walking along Gion’s streets and alleyways. Hanamikoji is an especially tasteful street.

The restaurant Obanzai is located here.
Most Gion restaurants require a seat, and also most of their menu items are priced very high. However, unusually Oishinbo has no seat charge, and serves very cheap and delicious foods. This is because they are made with locally grown Kyoto vegetables.
There is an English menu, so foreign customers don’t have to worry about selecting foods.

There are a lot of interesting items on the menu. For example, there is Japanese-style cheese fondue.

In this dish one dip (a soft food made from wheat gluten) into the melted cheese. It is said this dish is effective as a beauty treatment and good for your health and diet.

There are also Japanese-style desserts. For example, macha (green tea) ice, kinako (soybean flour) ice and namafu ice and so on.

The Interior decoration is old-fashioned Kyoto machiya style. So every seat is in a Japanese-style room and there are a total of 100 seats. This restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 to 15:00, is open for dinner from 17:00 to 24:00. So you can enjoy Japanese meals over many hours. They never close, so you can go whenever you visit Kyoto. The average cost of meal at Oishinbo is about 3,500 yen.


By Aya Kataoka

Do you know obanzai? The word “obanzai” refers to dishes that are common in Kyoto home-style cooking. So restaurants that advertise obanzai serve common everyday dishes. Mori Toshi is one kind of obanzairestaurant in Kyoto.
This shop is northwest of Kawaramachi and Shijo Streets, at the intersection of Teramachi Street and Takoyakushi Street.The atmosphere of this shop is bright, clean and cozy, and the owner is very kind and friendly.
This shop is not so big and is very traditional in many ways.
Mori Toshi is still not well known, so you can go anytime without making reservations. Also, this shop has an English menu, so foreign visitors will have no problem ordering.

There are many kinds of dishes served at Mori Toshi.
Several are common dishes, obanzai, that cost less than 300 yen. Some of them are:

Japanese red pepper
Natto (fermented soybeans)
Green soybeans

Cucumber with unrefined sake’

Some other foods on the menu are chicken, fish, pork, pilaf,vegetables, tofu, fried spring rolls made with shrimp and vegetables, and yuba (the thin skin that forms on hot soymilk; it is hung up and dried and is an especially well-known product of Kyoto). Namafu (a soft bread-like food made from wheat gluten) with miso sauce is especially tasty. In addition, the obanzai menu changes daily.On the drink menu there is beer, sake, and soft drinks

  • Japanese pilaf with egg —- 530 yen

  • Fried spring roll (shrimp & vegetables) – 630 yen
  • Grilled tofu – 530 yen

  • Namafu – 630 yen
  • Fried chicken – 630 yen
  • Obanzai – 300 yen each
  • Beer – 420 yen
  • Wine(red or white/glass of wine) – 420 yen
  • Cocktail – 530 yen each

265 Sikibe-cho, Takoyakusi agaru, Teramachi, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
Telephone number: 075-221-5955

Open: Tuesday through Friday from 6 pm to 11pm (last order at 10:30 pm)
On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays: 5pm to 11pm (last order at 10:30pm)
Closed Mondays

Capacity: 18 seats
Major credit cards are accepted.

By Hiroki Koizumi









In Kyoto city, there are a lot of cafés for foreign people, and among them is a new place, CAFÉ PROVERBS 1517. However, this café is little different from other shops. The reason is their menu. Nearly everything on it is made from plant-based ingredients. They use as few chemical additives, food colorings, flavorings, and preservatives as possible. They also use natural seasonings that are non-GMO (genetically modified foods and organisms), so customers don’t need to be concerned about the safety of their food here. So this restaurant is ideal for people who are vegetarians.

There are more than twenty items on the menu and they are divided into seven categories: salads, sandwiches, curries, plates, bowls, a la carte dishes, and noodles. Salads use fresh vegetables such as leafy greens. They also make their own original salad dressings. Sandwiches have lots of originality, like one that is stuffed with generous slices of avocado. Curries also use many kinds of homegrown vegetables. Plates all have rice, salad, soup, and an organic meat or vegetable, so plates are for people who want to eat several kinds of food. Bowls feature organic vegetables with rice, and the a la carte menu has a great variety of items: fried spring rolls, mabo dofu (a Chinese-style hot tofu dish), and so on. Finally, bowls of noodles use soymilk or Asian-flavored soup, so the taste is a bit plain. Their prices range from 750 yen to 1500 yen, so it’s on par with other cafe’s. Of course, many kinds of beverages are served: coffee, tea, juice. For desert, there are homemade sweets, cheesecake, chocolate cake, and strawberry cake.

Customers, especially women, can relax on the café’s sofa seats after lunch or dinner. The atmosphere at lunchtime is very pleasant. Moreover, candlelight lights the space peacefully during dinnertime. Most customers enjoy eating foods that use organic vegetables and they also enjoy their time in this café. If you are vegetarian and are looking for a place to eat, I recommend this café.

Il fiume Kamo

Mitoki Nakamura


La storia e le caratteristiche del fiume


Il nome del fiume Kamo deriva dalla famiglia Kamo, una famiglia molto potente nell’antichità, la cui roccaforte era sui monti del fiume Kamo.
Il fiume fluisce tranquillamente nel centro di Kyoto per circa 23 kilometri.
La fonte è a Kumogahata, a nord della città, e il fiume scorre verso sud ricevendo alcuni affluenti.
Vicino a Demachiyanagi, nell’area a nord-est di Kyoto, si congiunge con il fiume Takano.
Il nome Kamo è scritto con i caratteri cinesi 賀茂 a nord del punto dove il fiume confluisce con il Takano, mentre a sud della confluenza è scritto 鴨.
Quindi il nome del Kamo è scritto in due modi differenti, anche se nei documenti ufficiali si usa solo la seconda forma.


La strada principale di Kyoto

Il ponte di Shijo

Ci sono molti ponti sul fiume Kamo. Il ponte di Shijo è quello della strada principale del centro di Kyoto.
Attraversandolo verso est si arriva nel quartiere tradizionale di Gion, dove si possono vedere le maiko, ossia le geisha di Kyoto.
Attraversandolo in direzione opposta si arriva a Kawaramachi, un quartiere molto animato e frequentato dai giovani.


Le terrazze

I ristoranti Le terrazze

Durante l’estate (dal primo maggio al 30 settembre), i ristoranti allineati lungo il fiume Kamo allestiscono terrazze lungo la riva del fiume.
Chiunque può godersi un buon pasto ascoltando l’acqua che scorre e la brezza.
Queste terrazze sono chiamate in giapponese noryo-yuka: noryo significa “godersi il fresco”, e yuka significa “pavimento”.
Le terrazze si estendono da via Nijo a via Gojo.

La storia delle terrazze risale al periodo Edo. Si dice che alcuni ricchi mercanti abbiano cominciato a mettere tavoli sui bassofondi e banchi di sabbia del fiume per accogliere i visitatori che venivano da lontano.


La festa di Gion e il fiume

Mikoshi Arai

Il fiume ha uno stretto rapporto con la festa di Gion. Oggi la festa di Gion è la festa sacra del santuario di Yasaka, tuttavia originariamente era un rito per allontanare le epidemie che si diffondevano a Kyoto. Una delle cause principali delle epidemie era lo straripamento del Kamo, nei tempi antichi assai frequente.
Ancora oggi nella festa di Gion c’è un rito chiamato Mikoshi-Arai, in cui i partecipanti purificano il palanchino sacro mikoshi con l’acqua del fiume sul ponte di Shijo.
Si dice che il Dio del santuario di Yasaka salga sul mikoshi dopo il rito.


Lungo la riva del fiume

Lungo la riva del fiume cè un sentiero in cui si può andare in bicicletta, e ci sono panchine e posti dove si può sedere. Molte persone passano il tempo dedicandosi ai propri hobby sul lungofiume.
Alcuni suonano strumenti musicali sulle panchine o leggono un libro sdraiati sull’erba, mentre altri giocano a tennis o fanno un picnic.
Insomma, il fiume Kamo è il posto dove la gente di Kyoto va a rilassarsi stando all’aria aperta.


Il posto degli innamorati

La riva del fiume è famosa come luogo per appuntamenti amorosi.
Specialmente di notte si vedono tante coppie di innamorati sedute sulla riva a intervalli regolari, che si sussurrano dolci parole d’amore sullo sfondo del mormorio del fiume.
Questa è forse la scena più interessante del fiume Kamo.