Jun. 28, 2019 UPDATE


- 先斗町 -
Experience a mixture of traditional Kyoto, modern Japan, and neon signs in Ponto-cho geisha district
Ponto-cho is a famous Hanamachi geisha district in Kyoto, and continues from Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori. There are really many small alleys even narrower than the main alley at Ponto-cho, some of them leading to the other side while others are dead ends. There are many good restaurants by the alley, some of them cheap yakitori places while others offer fine dining kaiseki experiences, while yet others offer karaoke and drinks served by attractive women.
Cute little lanterns
Cute little lanterns
Ponto-cho is like going back in time to the Edo period at some places, but some places in the alley are almost futuristic in feel, or at least have a steampunk feel to them. Keep your eyes open when walking in the alley, since there are many small things like this cute little all around the place. There are even some Matryoshka dolls!
Ponto-cho at night
Ponto-cho at night
The alleys of Ponto-cho look completely different day and night. The neon sights light up and make the somewhat traditional atmosphere turn into a night when you wonder whether you have stumbled into the world of Blade Runner.
Go down an alley
3Good Experiences
Go down an alley
When walking in Ponto-cho, you will notice there are many narrow alleys. So, of course those who want an adventure need to go down one! If you walk down an alley, you may find a great Japanese restaurant, a smoky bar, or a “snack-bar”, a kind of a nightclub for middle-aged and over gentlemen. And by the way, number 24 in the picture is a dead end.
Have a yuka dinner
4Good Experiences
Have a yuka dinner
Dining on a yuka wooden terrace at sunset is something every Kyoto fan needs to experience. The great food, good beer, and great atmosphere form a combination like no other. So go on, don a kimono or a yukata and enjoy some great food on a yukata! Or if you would so like, there is also a Starbucks with their own yuka where you can enjoy yuka on the cheap. Read more about yuka dining here: http://sharing-kyoto.com/Feature/yuka/
3.3 experience3.3 access3.3 photogenic3.3
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 experience3.5 access3.5 photogenic3.5
This alley is a place where you have to try to dive in a bit deeper if you really want to enjoy the place. The real fun here is going into the even smaller alleyways – called roji or “rooji” in Kyoto, which sometimes lead somewhere and other times don’t, plus the best restaurants around this area are all hidden inside the roji. Sometimes these alleys are quite dark so it takes some courage to go in, but trust me here, it’s worth it.
3.0 experience3.0 access3.0 photogenic3.0
Ponto-cho is famous as a hanamachi – a geisha district, and to this day Ponto-cho is a place where you can see traditional tasteful scenery. There are all kinds of restaurants on the narrow alley. During the yuka outdoor riverside dining season from May to September you can enjoy good food and refreshing outdoor dining.
5.0 experience5.0 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
United States of America
5.0 experience5.0 access5.0 photogenic5.0
Ponto-cho / 先斗町
Category Scenery
Phone None
Address Shimokorikicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
Directions Pontocho is a short walk away from both Hankyu Kawaramachi and Keihan Gion-Shijo stations.
Open Hours Does not close
Reservations None
Closed None
Price range
Credit cards ---
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
Ponto-cho is a place where you can just look at the beautiful scenery and the restaurants and bars and enjoy old Japan.
Information Japanese, English
Lanuages spoken No staff at location
Page Top