- duration 3.5 hours
- tour type Group
- age requirement 20+ yrs
- guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
- See Kyoto transition from a daytime haven of shrines and temples to a magical nighttime town
- Wander the back streets of Gion and see if you can spot a few Geiko walking through the old quarter
- Visit local spots rarely discovered by tourists such as the Yasui Konpiragu Shrine
- Jump through history, from the wooden walls and lanterns of Yasaka Shrine to the bustle of Karasuma’s tachinomi
The true magic of Kyoto comes alive at the end of the day, when past and present blend into the night! Take to the streets as dusk falls and see how argon lights mix with paper lanterns, age-old shrines squeeze into busy shopping streets, and aged wood is decorated with modern street art.
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Experiencing Kyoto by night is an essential part of any visit to Japan’s city of tradition. Walking through the old town’s lantern-lit wooden streets is an otherworldly experience not to be missed!
We’ll begin our Kyoto tour at Gion Corner in Kyoto’s famed Geisha district of Gion. As we wander, there’s a good chance you’ll see both Geiko and Maiko breezing through the narrow alleyways of the old quarter.
From there, we’ll avoid the crowds and traverse the serene backstreets of Higashiyama via the unique but rarely visited Yasui Konpira Gu Shrine, the marvellous Yasaka Pagoda and the bustling and colourful Yasaka Shrine.
We’ll then avoid the crowds a second time as we dart into the backstreets of northern Gion, walking through the narrow streets lined with smaller and more modern clubs and bars — a fascinating contrast to the quarter’s old buildings and historical air.
Crossing the Kamo River, we’ll take in the sprawling view of Kyoto’s restaurant district as it stretches into the distance along the river, before crossing into Pontocho. A centuries-old entertainment district now lined with bars and restaurants, Pontocho is lit almost entirely by traditional Japanese lanterns of every shape and size. Each restaurant has its own unique menu and atmosphere, but all retain an old-world charm.
From Pontocho, we’ll cross to Teramachi, a traditional Japanese-style arcade strip that stretches off into the distance. Roofed with glowing, cathedral-like arches, Teramachi is home to a countless variety of merchants and restaurants, including traditional Japanese bookstores and the ubiquitous, brightly lit Manga comic shops. Here, you can find everything from statues of ancient gods at a Butsudan-ya (Buddhist altar shop) to high-quality sushi knives and vintage clothing.
Leaving Teramachi’s arcade, we’ll head past the Nishiki food market to check out a tachinomiya — translated in English, ‘tachinomiya’ literally means ‘stand and drink shop.’ Bars with no seats offer locals a chance to enjoy drinks and light snacks en route to home or engagements elsewhere.
For additional directions to meeting point:
Gion Corner is four blocks south from the intersection of Shijo and Hanamikoji streets. Hanamikoji is two blocks east of Shijo-Ohashi Bridge.
- By city bus to "Shijo Kawaramachi"- By Hankyu Railway: Kawaramachi Station exit 1 (10-minute walk) - By Keihan Railway: Gion -shijō Station exit 6, (5-minute walk)- From JR Kyoto Station: by city bus in approximately 25 minutes, or approximately 15 minutes by taxi
Download a map here: http://www.kyoto-gioncorner.com/global/en.html
- Local English-speaking guide
- Food samples.&Nbsp;
- Additional food and drink
- souvenirs and items of a personal nature
- transportation to and from the meeting point
- tips/gratuities for your guide.
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Cancellation for this Lonely Planet Experiences: Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns tour is free up to 48 hours before the chosen start date - full refund will be given. If cancellation is made less than 48 hours before the chosen start date, no refund applies.Payment
For any tour departures within 23 January 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 23 January 2021, a deposit of 100% is required to confirm this tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 0 days before trip departure.Travel Insurance
Lonely Planet Experiences: Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.Visa
For this Lonely Planet Experiences: Kyoto Lanes & Lanterns tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.Meeting start point :
Entrance to Gion Corner, by Hanamikoji Dori, Gionmachi Minamigawa area, Higashiyama ward, Kyoto.GPS coordinates: 35°00'05.7"N 135°46'29.0"EMeeting end point :
Shijo - Karasuma station.Lonely Planet extras
- Free access to the Lonely Planet mobile app for one year
- 25% discount on all items in the Lonely Planet Shop
This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:
- This tour follows established guidelines that are in line with the World Travel and Tourism Council’s ‘Safe Travels’ framework against COVID-19.
- This tour follows the local government(s) recommendations for gatherings and group sizes.
- Wearing a mask, hand washing and sanitizing is highly encouraged on this tour. Frequently touched surfaces are regularly disinfected.