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Pontocho

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood:
Pontocho
As featured in 3 Days in Kyoto and 3 other guides
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Address: Ponto-cho, Nakagyo-ku | BetweenKamogawa and Kiyamachi-dori, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Name/address in local language
Phone Number: +81 752411636
Website
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 115
    Excellent
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    Very good
  • 31
    Average
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  • 1
    Terrible
Obvious tourist "trap" but still worth a visit...

Expensive restaurants but worth a visit and fun to get something of the feel of older Kyoto with its narrow streets. Still, a bit of a commercialized space at this point though... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 6 days ago
Kevin F
,
New York City, New York
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656 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 269: English reviews
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Expensive restaurants but worth a visit and fun to get something of the feel of older Kyoto with its narrow streets. Still, a bit of a commercialized space at this point though worth it if also visiting the neighboring Gion district. And if you go...you can make it a bit more interesting by looking for the Tanuki "shrine"! Yes, it... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kevin F
Seattle
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We were unsure how to navigate this narrow alleyway of restaurants and bars. We wandered for awhile and decided to give a place a try, and felt like we weren't welcome. We had a lighting fast drink, and left quickly. The other places we tried were so lovely and friendly. I wish I could remember the names. Some bars charge... More 

Helpful?
Thank Monica R
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Pontocho proper is a very narrow alley stretching bout 5 blocks crammed beyond belief with restaurants and bars, but the scene also extends a few blocks west. If you can't find a place you like here you're truly lost! Western style places, a really good conveyor style sushi place (order off the menu instead tho), great whiskey bars, french reggae... More 

Helpful?
Thank Chris R
Finland
Level Contributor
184 reviews
110 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We walked this narrow alley through the geisha area of Kyoto after a dinner hoping we could get a glimpse of the practitioners of this age-old tradition. And sure enough, we were lucky enough to see a couple of white-faced, kimono-clad figures pass by. Just a brief glance, but enough to prove that geishas still exist! Pontocho has a dense... More 

Helpful?
Thank Eric_Greeney
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

can't believe how many restaurants are back here. The places with decks overlooking the river are crowded and expensive. Ask your concierge about the small hidden away restaurants inside the ally's... not much English there but we had the BEST SUKIYAKI in there... YUM!

Helpful?
Thank Eric C
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

You will find many dining and drinking places there. I went to the theatre for Kamogawa Odori (geisha performance). The performance is simply impressive!

Helpful?
Thank byire2016
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
471 reviews
242 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 255 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The area was really cute with small streets, typical lanterns and nice decorations. It felt a bit like a tourist trap at times because most bars requested a cover charge to give you a table, so I would advise to spend time to find the right restaurant and / or bar if you plan to spend the evening there. We... More 

Helpful?
Thank BananaLu
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I found the street a little over hyped most of the restaurants required a ridiculous cover charge. Also watch out for fake Japanese restaurants run by the Chinese, we made that mistake and felt awkward to leave so ordered food. Let's just say everything was a let down from the plain bowls and cutlery to the cold attitude of the... More 

Helpful?
Thank Joeyjojo529
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
86 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

and very overpriced. If you don't mind that then find a place on the side that faces the river and sit outside on a terrace. Pleasant way to spend an evening.

Helpful?
Thank Francoise1948
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
227 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We walked down this street while in Kyoto. The street is narrow and has older buildings, many of which are restaurants. Those on one side overlook the river making for a nice spot to dine. Some of the places are open for both lunch and dinner but others only do dinner. With so many things to do in Kyoto, I... More 

Helpful?
Thank betteskid

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Staying in Pontocho

Neighborhood Profile
Pontocho
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.