Maiko dancer Kyoto Japan

Japan: Kyoto – Gion Corner Cultural Show

Date: 23rd March, 2015

My day of sightseeing across Kyoto began at the famous Fushimi Inari-taisha before returning to the city to visit Kinaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera. And although I felt I had seen enough, I found myself walking towards Gion Corner — a theater that has a daily cultural show showing some Japanese traditions and live theater.

Gion street at night Kyoto
The sun had set over Kyoto
Gion corner Kyoto night
The shows are held inside Yasaka Hall, next to the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theatre
Gion Corner show information
I was on two minds about attending the show. It’s quite pricey ¥3150 (₹1700/$25/€24) and I assumed there wouldn’t be any tickets for the final show.
Gion Corner crowd Kyoto Japan
But it turns out there still a few seats left for the final show. And since I was already in line, I thought why not, and bought myself a ticket
Gion Corner cultural show Kyoto
We all sat down for the show. Other than introductions of each segment in English, everything else would be in Japanese.

Tea making ceremony Kyoto Japan
The show began with a live demonstration of the tea making ceremony by the side of the stage
Gion Corner traditional music Kyoto
While the lady prepared tea, Koto music was playing on main stage while another Japanese art form was being showcased
Flower arrangement Gion Corner Kyoto
The art of ikebana — Japanese flower arrangement
Traditional Japanese music Gion corner
Next up was a Japanese classical music theater called Gagaku. All the music was being performed live with instruments that are all really old.
Japanese theatre demon Kyoto
I couldn’t really remember what the theme of this performance was… but this character looked cool!
Comedy skit Gion corner culural show
There was a comedy skit too. Not that I could understand it.
Maiko dancers Gion corner Kyoto
Next up were the Maiko dancers
Maiko dancer Kyoto Japan
With their doll-like make up
Maiko dancer girls Japan
And their very slow movements. Interesting to watch none the less.
Puppet play Gion corner show Kyoto
My favourite was the puppet play, known as Bunraku
Puppet show Kyoto Japan theater
The men controlling the puppet dressed in all black and did an impressive job of emoting and movements

Here is a video I took using my zoom lens:

And after that, the show was over. It probably lasted about 40 minutes(?). That’s it. Was it worth it? Meh, I don’t know. It is kinda pricey at ¥3150 but at the same time, it is a good way to see Japan’s traditional performing arts all on one stage, even if you can’t understand much of it. I consider it one of those “done it, scratch it off the list” kind of activities in Kyoto.

Gion Corner theater Kyoto Japan
What the theater looks like after everyone had left
White sakura at night Gion Kyoto
I left the hall as well
Gion street night Kyoto Japan
I walked back down the main Gion road which was getting quite empty

As I reached the entrance/exit, I saw people snapping photos and there was some excitement around this dressed up woman.

Geisha Gion corner Kyoto Japan
It was the elusive geisha! She had a smile on her face, but she wasn’t posing for any photos. And so this is all I got. Oh well, I wasn’t going to chase her or annoy her for a photograph.
Kyoto Kamo river night
I walked past Kamo river. It was a chilly night.
Mosburger Kyoto Japan
For dinner, I sat down at Mosburger again and had two beef burgers because I really liked their burgers (and I was kinda hungry)

After dinner, I walked all the way back to Shiori-an Guesthouse.

Car parking building Kyoto
Saw this parking building on the way back. The whole thing is automated.

Today was an eventful day. I saw quite a bit, but I was tired. Today was also my last full day in Kyoto. I had to leave for Himeji the next day. But I realized there was much more to see in and around Kyoto. I would wake up early tomorrow morning to visit the famous tourism town of Arashiyama. The impressive Bamboo Forest and the Monkey Park are all in the next few posts.

Next posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Bamboo Forest in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Japan 2015: Kyoto Station, and arriving at Himeji by shinkansen

Japan 2015: Himeji Castle, and the unexpected air show

Japan 2015: Nadagiku Shuzo Sake Brewery, leaving Himeji for Tokyo — and my last bullet train ride

Japan 2015: Nakamise street, Senso-ji temple, and Ueno Park sakura at half-bloom

Japan 2015: Ueno Zoo – pandas, a lonely polar bear, and more

Japan 2015: Shibuya – the busiest crossing in the world, and home to a loyal dog

Japan 2015: Nishi-Shinjuku — views from Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building sky deck

Japan 2015: Shopping in Shinjuku, and Kabukicho

Japan 2015: Denboin garden, near Sensoji Temple

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom celebrations by Sumida River

Japan 2015: Boat ride to Odaiba; giant Gundam statue at DiverCity Mall

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms at Tokyo Imperial Palace east garden

Japan 2015: Cherry blossom sightings at Shinjuku Gyoen

Japan 2015: Harajuku on a Sunday – Meiji shrine and Yoyogi Park

Japan 2015: Harajuku at night — Takeshita Street

Japan 2015 – Visiting Akihabara a second time, because why not?

Japan 2015: Cherry blossoms in full bloom at Ueno Park

Japan 2015: Rikugien garden’s weeping cherry blossom tree

Japan 2015: Getting to Hakone; Lake Ashi sightseeing cruise

Japan 2015: Hakone ropeway; onsen at Hotel Green Plaza

Japan 2015: Ōwakudani sulphur springs, views of Mt. Fuji — and last night in Tokyo

Japan 2015: Getting to Narita Airport — and flying an Airbus A380 for the first time

Previous posts in this series:

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu Dera temple

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Fushimi Inari-taisha, and climbing to the mountain top

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishiki market and Teramachi

Japan 2015: Kyoto – Nishi & Higashi Honganji, Shijo street, and Gion

Japan 2015: Riding a bullet train for the first time, Tokyo to Kyoto

Japan 2015: Walking around Akihabara and Ginza

Japan 2015: Going to Akihabara, and spending way too much time in Yodobashi Akiba

Japan 2015: Landing in Tokyo… and using a communal bath for the first time

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