- Explore the Gion and Pontocho areas at night
- Get local with food and drink stops in two "tachinomi", or standing-style restaurant bars
- Be regaled with history and stories by your native (or equivalent) English speaker
You and no more than five others will explore the local foods and entertainment districts of Kyoto on a not-so-standard, all-inclusive walking and eating nighttime tour! You'll mingle with locals, eat regional specialties at two different standing bar/restaurants, and be given a visual feast of a primer on the various nightlife scenes in Kyoto, from geiko (a.k.a. "geisha") on down. With a native or equivalent English speaking guide at your side, you'll get a clear understanding of what the area is all about. And with some great food and a couple of (included) drinks in you, the merriment will be all the more!
You've done the daytime temples, gardens, and academic thing, had a bit of rest, and are now ready to set about seeing what the night has to offer.
6.30 PM: We'll meet at Gion Shijo Station, then start with an educational walk through the justifiably famous Gion district, which is located on the east side of the Kamogawa River. Learn about the geiko (and why we don't call them "geisha" in Kyoto), as well as the places that make this district so special. You'll also regaled with insight and info about how the art of evening entertainment has evolved into the hostess clubs of today. (Rest assured this tour is suitable for teenagers and higher.)
Your hour-long anthropological adventure has left you ready for some food and drink, and we know just the place. You'll get to try a few different regionally representative dishes and a beer -- or perhaps you'd like a shochu or some sake instead? Various dietary restrictions, tastes, and bravery levels will be happily accommodated. Afterwards, we take a stroll through both youthful and classic restaurant and entertainment districts on the west side of the Kamogawa River, including Ponto-cho, Kiyamachi, and the Kawaramachi Street area. The old narrow streets along Pontocho will allow you to see how much the people of Kyoto value and protect tradition, while the younger areas a couple streets away will show you how eager Kyoto people are to also firmly live in the present.
No night is complete with just one restaurant stop, so we'll visit another thoroughly vetted and often enjoyed spot. There will be more tasty vittles for your culinary consideration, and of course another drink in accompaniment.
Soon 9:30 PM (or so) has rolled around, and the end of the evening has come, but hopefully you've been able to garner a lasting understanding and appreciation of Kyoto's various foods, nightlife, and vibe.
This tour includes
- Two alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages (one in each restaurant)
- All guide expenses
This tour does NOT include
- Drinks beyond the two included. Additional drinks can be purchased directly from the restaurants if you wish.
Know before you book
- Cancellation: 2 days prior to the day of your trip – 40 %,
1 day prior – 50 %,
On the day – 100 %,
No-show – 100 %
- Sometimes we sit down, but sometimes we go full-local and stand at small tables as we enjoy our tasty small plates, tapas style.
What you need to bring
- Please come wearing comfortable walking shoes.
- Enter a list of notes which your customers need to keep in their minds.
The meeting point is at Exit 5 of Gion Shijo Station.