Kyoto Gion Corner
A place to discover Japanese arts
Have you ever wanted to see some of the most famous traditional Japanese arts? If you stay in Kyoto you can see seven different arts performed in only one hour, right in front of your own eyes - at the unique Gion Corner theater.
All the performances are explained in Japanese and English, so Gion Corner is recommended especially for visitors from foreign countries. Popular with the international crowd, there are handouts in English, German, French, Chinese and Korean. The show takes place every evening. For more information about time, place and prices, please look at the official website.
A Feast of Traditional Japanese arts
This packed performance offers a tasting menu of seven arts.
Tea ceremony: The tradition of steeping and serving tea is very old. At Gion Corner the ryurei style of tea ceremony is performed in front of the audience, with two people tasting the freshly made tea.
Koto music: Koto is an instrument which came to Japan 1300 years ago. Two players will show you their methods of playing and give you the chance to hear the sound of this unique instrument with your own ears.
Ikebana: This is the art of making beautiful arrangements of flowers and other materials. A flower arrangement will be made during this demonstration.
Gagaku Court Music: Gagaku is the oldest classical music in Japan and was normally performed at the imperial court, shrines and temples. The ancient music and dance with elaborate costume and armor is impressive.
Kyogen Theatre: This kind of theatre spoken in colloquial language was historically presented as a comic interlude at the Noh theatre. Even if you can’t understand Japanese you can follow the refined yet slapstick comedy.
Kyomai Dance: The Japanese dance represents the human feelings with specific dance moves. Kyo-mai is Kyoto style dance performed by maiko geisha-in-training, who choreograph a gorgeous spectacle wearing their beautiful long kimono.
Bunraku Puppet Theater: The desert on this menu at Gion Corner is bunraku puppet theater. This popular folk entertainment was especially maintained in Kyoto. The play shown is “Date Musume Koi no Higanoko” (伊達娘恋緋鹿子) and tells the story of a girl in the Edo period who tries to rescue her lover who is to be executed.
Edited by Achim Runnebaum