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Pontocho, Kyoto

4.1
While in Kyoto, experience the lively atmosphere of Pontocho, a narrow street lined with traditional tea houses, restaurants, and bars. The tiny cobblestone passageway comes to life in the evenings, when colorful lanterns light up the doorways of the small wooden buildings. You’ll be spoiled for choice by the array of eateries and bars that line the street, ranging from affordable street food to exclusive establishments that require an invitation. Take in the dynamic atmosphere as you stroll the busy street, or sit back in a bar and people-watch; you might spot a geisha or two heading to one of the geek houses in the alley. Make Pontocho part of your personalized Kyoto itinerary using our Kyoto day trip planner .
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1,102 reviews
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  • Any time is good to go for Pontocho, but the atmosphere is much more pleasant in the evening, with all the restaurants and stores illuminated with traditional lanterns. We loved it.
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  • One of my favourite things in Kyoto. The place was so special and suggestive. It’s a narrow street with lanterns all over and very typical Japanese restaurants. Go there at night, it’s extraordinary!  more »
  • Definitely an interesting place to visit but had a terrible experience trying to find a place that would actually allow drop-in customers.  more »

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Where to stay in Kyoto

Kyoto spoils visitors for choice when it comes to good accommodations, offering everything from traditional ryokans to luxury Western-style hotels. In a city used to receiving foreign travelers, you'll find that most establishments know exactly what to offer tourists and how to help newcomers to the area. To avoid paying premium prices during the cherry blossom season, consider staying in Osaka, located just a 30-minute train ride away. If you must stay in Kyoto itself, keep in mind that centrally located hotels charge more than those in the outer neighborhoods.
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