We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.


Certificate of Excellence
As featured in 3 Days in Kyoto and 3 other guides
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Your filters are still active.
There are no pins in your viewport. Try moving the map or changing your filters.
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Ponto-cho, Nakagyo-ku | BetweenKamogawa and Kiyamachi-dori, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number: +81 752411636
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
More Info
and up
Private Custom Tour: Kyoto in One Day
Why book on Viator?
  • Tour highlights & full itinerary
  • Easy online booking
  • Lowest price guaranteed
More Information ›

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 448 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 182
  • 194
    Very good
  • 64
  • 7
  • 1
Loved it

Though crowded with people on a winter weeknight. the atmosphere and ambience of this old street with traditional houses and designs make it an awesome stroll. Seems like many... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed yesterday
Lionel L
Sydney, Australia

Similar Things to Do in Kyoto

Add Photo Write a Review

448 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

Though crowded with people on a winter weeknight. the atmosphere and ambience of this old street with traditional houses and designs make it an awesome stroll. Seems like many nice restaurant including one which has a snaking queue right to a park. Pity I already had my dinner. Beautiful light in my opinion at night. Go!

Thank Lionel L
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

The walk down the alley is as enjoyable as the food. Pontocho has quaint streets and wonderful food. Each restaurant is a look back in time in a way. The area reflects the traditional Japanese culture in a way that everyone can appreciate.

Thank Travis H
Yangsan, South Korea
Level Contributor
28 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

A small alley boasting hundreds of traditional and delicious restaurants. It is a cozy dining experience with a mountain of options. Plenty of menus in English.

Thank Tricia H
Level Contributor
449 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 826 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

A very old alley, but the restaurants that proliferate here are not the type that causes congestion in the streets as compared to other places, thus the place does not feel as touristy as others. This gives us a better feel of Japan of the past. On some parts, there are small access that end up showing the river that... More 

Thank al22tecc
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
181 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Went here in the Fall. Traditional houses along narrow alleys take one back in time. Some of these houses have been converted to restaurants, galleries, shops and cafes. Try to get a table in restaurants that face the Kamogawa river; they are rather romantic.

1 Thank YubaPrincess
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

It was really nice. Granted, I went at night. We ate an excellent meal there, and drank at a few bars. It was pretty and picturesque. Really, it;s the sort of place that is what you make of it.

Thank Randall G
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Sadly, I visited Pontocho while visiting Gion during the day. There were many places to shop, eat and have coffee, but just as many places that were completely closed. I learned that most of those places were clubs and bars and that it is mostly a nightlife part of town. This is definitely worth seeing at night and not in... More 

1 Thank KRUIZ8204
Level Contributor
233 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

One of the Kyoto travel guidebooks describes this alley as one of the quaintest alleys in all of Asia, but this characterization appears to me to be an exaggeration. True, it is nice to stroll through this alley , especially in the evening and at night, but it is not particularly special. The alley is lined with many small restaurants... More 

2 Thank schmidtmg
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
202 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

great place for food - we found a tempura bar that sat maybe 10 and the freshness of the tempura was off charts--most open late in winter so don't expect to be having lunch earlier than 12 or 12:30 p.m.

Thank jennifer s
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
19 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We arrived to Pontocho Alley around 4. The surrounding area is charmed with willow trees and creeks. After strolling down to look at the restaurants along Pontocho Alley we realized they all looked closed. Pontocho Alley opens collectively at 8 (worth noting). We made our way around the area looking for any food open, having missed lunch. To our dismay,... More 

1 Thank Julie M

Travelers who viewed Pontocho also viewed

Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

Been to Pontocho? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Pontocho and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Cairns Region, Australia

See all questions (1)

Questions? Get answers from Pontocho staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?

Staying in Pontocho

Neighborhood Profile
Though small by comparison, Pontocho is one of Kyoto's most spirited and memorable neighborhoods. A narrow street straddling the Kamogawa River, it is Kyoto's busiest nightlife spot. When darkness falls, Pontocho's many signs and lanterns bolt to life, making the area glow with invitations to passers-by to come inside and pull up a chair. Its restaurants and bars sprawl onto the riverbank, providing a friendly atmosphere and delicious food. Verandas are always filled with people young and old crowding tables, biting into hot yakitori or sipping cold beers. It is a culinary heart of Kyoto as much as one of its most laid-back, clamorous, and entertaining evening hotspots. Pontocho has more of an amiable vibrancy to it than an elegant one, attracting newcomers, local veterans, and everyone in between, in casual attire like sneakers and jeans.