Asia Japan

Night stroll down Kyoto’s Pontocho Alley

Kyoto is already a very magical place in itself. Experience the rich culture of old Japan with thousands of Buddhist temples, shrines, palaces, traditional wooden houses, and of course.. a glimpse of the elusive Geishas.

One of the must-do’s in Kyoto is to take a night stroll down Kyoto’s most picturesque street – the Pontocho Alley. Lined with endless bars, restaurants and traditional teahouses, the narrow pathways around Pontocho will keep you and your camera occupied. It is almost like a maze you wouldn’t mind getting lost in.


Pontocho sits in between two tranquil streams, and runs parallel along the Kamogawa River. The streetlights glow dimly along the river and pathways, creating such a romantic and zen atmosphere. Plus, the streets of Kyoto are ridiculously clean. It feels like you are walking on some movie set.


Lots of narrow alleys, crisscrossing and all connected. You don’t have to worry, because you’d either be led to a main road or the river bank.


Kyoto is like a beautiful dream with heavy Miyazaki movie vibes. Be sure to take your time to explore Pontocho and feast in one of the many popular restaurants. In the spring and summer, the teahouses along the riverbanks set up al-fresco dining on their rooftops for a superb view. I didn’t get to try it, but definitely will do when I’m back for Kyoto someday!

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