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[A tour of modern architecture in Rakuchu, Kyoto]
Gion Strolling in Meiji-Taisho Romantic Gion, Kyoto

Plan Details

This walking tour takes you around the buildings and people involved in the modernisation of Kyoto. While touring Kyoto's modern architecture, visitors will learn about its history and characteristics. Modern architecture refers to buildings from the Meiji era (1868-1912) to the early Showa era (1926-1989), which incorporated Western architectural styles or used a blend of Japanese and Western ingenuity. In Kyoto, there are many works by famous architects. This tour takes visitors on a tour of some of the most representative buildings in the Gion area. You will hear about the highlights of each building and the stories behind them, and get a taste of the fascination of modern architecture.

Set Dates

6 Jan 2024 to 27 Dec (Please enquire)Held annually on an ongoing basis.

Excluded Dates

28 Dec to 5 Jan 2025 (Please enquire)

Plan Price

please require

What's included

Handouts, foreign-language staff.

Course Details

Meet: Kyoto Okura Villa (now Daewun-in) Gionkaku = walk = Chorakukan (former Kyoto villa of Kichihei Murai) = walk = Murai Bank Gion branch (now Candy Show Time Kyoto Gion branch) = walk = Katoriya Gion main branch = walk = Minami-za theatre = walk = Restaurant Kikusui (former Kikusui Kan) = walk = Yaomasa Restaurant (now Tokasaikan) = walk = Francois Cafe: disband

Time Required

2 hours

Min. # of Participants per Party

1 person

Min. # of Participants 

5 people

Max. # of Participants 

15 people

Closing Date

14 days before 6pm

Supported Languages

s Languages available: English, Korean, Chinese, Polish, Hebrew, German, Spanish, French, Filipino, Thai.

Cancellation Fees

Free cancellation within 72 hours of booking. 

3 days to 1 day before the experience date: 20%; 

on the day: 50%. 

No-show or after the trip has started: 100%.

Meeting Place & Time

Meet: Kyoto Okura Villa (now Daewun-in) Gionkaku

10:00 ,13:00 (other times on request)

Google MAP

Other (Notes)

This tour is intended for primary school students and above. Each guest under junior highschool age must be accompanied by one parent or guardian. Please take care not to disturb other pedestrians by spreading out and walking. 

The event will be held rain or shine. The event will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather, such as when warnings or advisories are issued. In the event of cancellation, we will inform you by 8pm the night before the start time. Please wear comfortable walking clothes and shoes. No parking is available. Please come by public transport.

Photo Galley

#1 Kyoto Okura Villa (currently Daiun-in) Gionkaku

e RequiredGionkaku, the Kyoto Okura Villa (now Daewoin Temple), was a villa built byKihachiro Okura, founder of the Okura Zaibatsu conglomerate, in the Meiji era.The 36 m high Gionkaku, which resembles a Gion Festival float, is an eye-catching feature of the villa.

#2 Chorakukan (Former Murai Kichibei Kyoto Villa)

Chorakukan (former Kyoto villa of Kibei Murai) was built in 1909 by Kibei Murai, abusinessman known as the "King of Tobacco", as a guest house for entertainingguests from Japan and abroad. It was designed by the American architect JamesMcDonald Gardiner.

#3 Murai Bank Gion Branch 

(currently CANDY SHOW TIME Kyoto Gion Branch)

The Murai Bank Gion branch (now the Candy Showtime Kyoto Gion branch) is aretro building built in the early Showa period and currently operates as a candyshop. The Murai Bank Gion branch is characterised by its brick exterior anddomed roof.

#4 Kanatoriya Gion Main Store

Katoriya Gion Honten is a long-established handbag shop with a history of over130 years in Gion.

#5 Minamiza

The Minamiza building, with four floors above ground and one below,incorporating Momoyama-style design in modern architecture, is a registerednational tangible cultural property.

#Restaurant Kikusui (formerly Kikusuikan)

Restaurant Kikusui (formerly Kikusuikan) was built in 1926. It is still used as arestaurant today and is listed as a National Tangible Cultural Property.

#7 Yaomasa Restaurant (currently Toka Saikan)

The YaoMasa Restaurant (currently Toka Saikan)was built in 1926. It was designedby the Vories Architectural Office, led by the American architect William MerrellVories. It is the only restaurant building in his oeuvre.

#8 [Francois Tea Room]

The Francois Tea Room was established in 1934.It was the first coffee shop to be listed on the National Register of TangibleCultural Properties. As freedom was being restricted in the run-up to the war,people were looking for a place where they could gather and talk. As he himselfwas involved in the socialist movement, he opened the coffee shop as a salon fordiscussing ideas and art. It was named the The Francois Tea Room  after the Frenchpainter Jean Francois Millet.




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