Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-group Kyoto Walking Tour with Snacks & Drinks16 reviews
The true magic of Kyoto comes alive at the end of the day, when the past and the 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.
Your Kyoto tour will begin at Minamiza Theatre in Kyoto’s famed Geisha district, Gion. As you wander, there’s a good chance you’ll see both Geiko and Maiko breezing through the narrow alleyways of the old quarter.
From there, you and your guide will avoid the crowds and traverse the serene wooden backstreets through to Yasaka Shrine, where there’s an explosion of light and noise! Famous Yasaka is eternally alive, brought to life by bright lights and buzzing crowds, and lined with street food stalls selling Japan’s favorite evening snacks — everything from frozen bananas to skewered squid.
Then you will 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, you will 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, you’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, you’ll be lead 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.
- Local guide
- Food samplings: traditional Japanese snacks and drinks
- Additional food and drink
- Souvenirs and items of a personal nature
- Transportation to/from the meeting point
Gion Corner, 570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan
Karasuma Station, Naginatabokocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8008, Japan
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Modest dress is highly recommended as you will be visiting a shrine (It is recommended to have your shoulders and knees covered.)
- Small group is a maximum of 12 people
- Some food allergies can be accommodated; please advise your local tour operator at the time of booking
- Minimum age is 20 years
- This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
Booking Terms and Conditions
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