Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-group Kyoto Walking Tour with Snacks & Drinks

Review StarReview StarReview StarReview StarReview Star 16 reviews
Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-group Kyoto Walking Tour with Snacks & Drinks
from USD $115.36
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience powered by Urban Adventures.
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.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: As members of ABTA and ATAS we are 100% financially bonded. You can book your day trip with us in absolute confidence, no matter where in the world you are.

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we are currently not taking new bookings for day tours.

In Brief

Kyoto, Japan
3 hours 30 minutes
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
Important InfoInfo
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!

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
  • Gratuities

Departure Time

6:30 PM

Departure Point

Gion Corner, 570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan

Returns To

Karasuma Station, Naginatabokocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8008, Japan

Additional Information

  • 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 Information

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

Cancellation Terms

This trip is fully refundable up to 96 hours prior to the commencement of your trip.

Booking Terms and Conditions

When you book this trip, you need to read and accept the terms and conditions for booking our day trips in excursions.

Scoring an average traveller rating of 4.5 out of 5 based on the last 16 recent reviews

I would definitely recommend this tour . Guide was very knowledgeable and Gion is lovely to see at night and the walk was very interesting
• Submitted 23 Apr 2019
was a cold night but LOVED this trip so much! our guide was German but living in Japan which was very interesting.
• Submitted 02 Apr 2018
This is a great way to see Kyoto our Guide Julian was incredible, fun informative and full of knowledge. He had a great sense of humour which suited us down to the ground , we saw so much and Kyoto at night is superb. We saw Geiko and Meiko so we were very lucky, also a light festival was being set up so some of the temples and shrines had beautiful lighting. A must do I say .
• Submitted 10 Mar 2018
What a fun tour! It was great to see the sites in the evening without the crowds. We had a great time with the tour guide. It was more like going around with a friend and then out for drinks afterwards.
• Submitted 29 Jan 2018
Very nice guide, extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Would do it again.
• Submitted 03 Dec 2017
The tour guide was fascinating and the sites in the moonlight were amazing . A delightful evening . An excellent tour
• Submitted 23 Nov 2017
We had a wonderful walk through the back laneways with our guide Tatsuro who was very helpful with explaining about the Gion area including lots of information about the geishas and their lifestyle, we even saw some geishas then we moved on to a local shrine with our guide once again explaining points of interest..after that we thoroughly enjoyed our traditional Japanese snack...would highly recommend this tour as it gave us a snapshot of life in the Gion area
• Submitted 02 Nov 2017
Our local guide Pepijn was extremely knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. There was plenty of walking through the narrow back streets of the Gion region. We were very lucky to see three geisha and two maiko during our tour. We discovered some fantastic restaurants which we came back to the next day. The included dinner - traditional okonomiyaki was lovely. The tour concluded in a small bar where we enjoyed a drink together as a group. Would highly recommend the tour as you get to see a different side to the region at night.
• Submitted 30 Sep 2017
Our local guide Pepijn was extremely knowledgeable and a great guide. There was plenty of walking and we were able to experience a side of Gion that comes alive at night time. We were fortunate enough to see three geisha and two maiko during our walk. The local traditional meal was delicious and we concluded at a small bar where we all enjoyed a drink together as a group. A wonderful opportunity to get some local knowledge and pointers about areas and restaurants to come back to visit during the day or in our own time. Highly recommend this tour for those who don't mind walking.
• Submitted 30 Sep 2017
Our tour guide Pepijin was excellent and highlighting things that a foreigner would find interesting, and explaining their historical and cultural context. The Tour is mostly around the Gion area, and was a good value despite there is only 1 drink, 1 snack, and 1 local dinner item. I was hoping for more, but the guide Pepijin and the area by themselves make it an excellent tour, particularly in the evening time, plus you then know were to go back for 2nds.
• Submitted 29 Sep 2017
We really enjoyed this walking tour through the Gion district at night. Our guide was wonderful in answering questions and we learned a lot about Geishas. We were fortunate to see three Geishas that evening. Our guide took us to a restaurant for some dinner and got us the traditional
• Submitted 06 Jul 2017
Our guide (Uri* spelling??) was amazing. Extremely knowledgable. Was able to answer questions well outside the scope of the tour. Absolutely incredible. Really enjoyed the places we toured and the stories behind the sights. Food was equally delicious. Highly recommend Urban Adventures!
• Submitted 26 May 2017
Was lucky to be the only one on this tour with Takahashi, who guided another tour I was on. Cool guy easy going, we went all over the Gion district, which is quite a large area not just a couple of lanes as I thought. We stopped mid way at a place he new and had savoury omelette and sake/beer, before heading off to another district close to the entertainment strip. I remember walking along talking,then looking up and seeing a lit up,four storey temple rising above the laneway, great shock! Also walking down a narrow laneway, having a photo taken when a Meiko whizzes by, only to be caught off guard by another Meiko minutes later! A real priveledge to be show round by a local, theres no way I could have done that otherwise 10/10. Do it!
• Submitted 06 Nov 2016
Our guide was wonderful - very friendly and helpful. The tour was very good and the information imparted was just what we had hoped for. Our tour went for over 3 hours with only a short break for food - I would recommend another break for drinks etc. However I would recommend it to others.
• Submitted 02 Oct 2016
An overkill of closed shrines and temples. This is an evening tour when all the shrines and temples are mostly closed and you don't get to see too much. Add to this the number of different shrines, which leaves very little time for snacks and drinks. Be prepared for a good walk.
• Submitted 22 Feb 2017
The guide was obviously new and inexperienced, making the tour a bad experience. I could not wait for it to end. There was no toilet break till I ask for it and the guide was not able to give much information of the places we went. We had only one meal and drink at the end of the tour when the tour said it was snacks and drinks, giving me the impressions that there should be more than one meal.Am I short changed?
• Submitted 12 Nov 2017

In Brief

Kyoto, Japan
3 hours 30 minutes
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays

More Kyoto Day Trips

Hidden Kyoto E-Biking
Hidden Kyoto E-Biking
USD $102.53 / 3 hours 30 minutes
Fushimi Inari and Sake Tasting Tour
Fushimi Inari and Sake Tasting Tour
USD $135.19 / 3 hours 30 minutes
Gion Walking Tour by Night
Gion Walking Tour by Night
USD $12.31 / 1 hour 40 minutes
Itajime Shibori Scarf Class
Itajime Shibori Scarf Class
USD $47.43 / 30 to 60 minutes
Kyoto Samurai School: Learn Traditional Kembu
Kyoto Samurai School: Learn Traditional Kembu
USD $75.45 / 60 to 90 minutes