A little further down from the Kyoto Gion area is the Higashiyama District just at the foot of the eastern hills. This is one of the best preserved historic districts in Kyoto. There are several old streets to explore, all lined with small shops, cafes and restaurants that are very tourist friendly. Some may say these are tourist traps, but to me they are a great way to experience the old Kyoto.
Wondering around the area you may come across many young girls dressed in kimonos. Many of them may not be Japanese at all, but tourists paying a few hundred bucks for the experience.
Most of the kimono girls are very friendly, but i did come across a couple of kimono girls who instantly covered their faces with their fans whenever a camera is raised.