A Pleasant Walk Through Ponto-cho and Kiyamachi (7-9 p.m.)
While walking down Ponto-cho, you will see a glimpse of dark and narrow alleyways. The alleyways will leads to the west side of Ponto-cho to another area called Kiyamachi. There are buildings in the area that are over 200 years old and some are registered as cultural assets. In contrast, there are modern and stylish bars that opened just few years ago. There probably is not a place elsewhere in Kyoto that will satisfy those who love to drink as much as this place does. First, walk through Ponto-cho to see and feel the illuminating night of Kyoto full of traditional Japanese feel, and then head over to Kiyamachi.
The start of Ponto-cho was during Edo period (1603 - 1868). Same as with the culture of yuka, or riverside dining, the root of the culture of Ponto-cho is “omotenashi”.
Ponto-cho had been developed as shops continued to pop up for travelers to take a break from their journey on the boat that ran up and down the Takase River located right beside. The first shop in the area was established in 1712. Ponto-cho has been a place for travelers to take a break during a tiring journey since 300 years ago.
Some restaurants have a motto of “The regulars are you, the travelers” or in Japanese “Jorenkyaku ha tabibito no anata,” from which you can understand how welcoming this area is to travelers.
It may be because of the hot summer temperature, people often feel thirsty when walking down Ponto-cho. Although there are many drinking places in Ponto-cho, we recommend Kiyamachi because it’s an area where you will find restaurants and bars where they serve delicious foods and drinks. The area is filled with a variety of types of restaurants and bars like classic izakaya, as well as stylish bistros and modern bars. There are things you can enjoy in Kiyamachi that is not possible to do so by just walking down Ponto-cho.