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Pontocho is a narrow alley that runs about 600 m along Kamo River. Both sides of the alley are lined with more than 100 restaurants. It is one of the most famous geiko districts along with Gion that has many tea houses where geiko entertain customers with dances and music in beautiful kimono. Many theories exist about the origin of its name such as “ponta” (point) in Portuguese. The cute sound of the word suits the atmosphere of Kyoto well. The dance performance, “Kamogawa Odori” is held in spring. It brings some elegant air to the town as a special feature of Kyoto in spring.
- Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
- Exit at gate No.4 of Gion Shijo station on Keihan line and walk for a few min, or walk 2 minutes from Kawaramachi station on Hankyu Dentetsu.
- Time Required
- 120 minutes
※ Some information is displayed in Japanese and machine-translated English, which may not be accurate.
For the latest information, please check the official website for each spot.
Pontocho is a gorgeous town in Kyoto that also has a unique atmosphere of a built-up area. This area was originally the riverbank of Kamo River which was reinforced in 1670. Many merchants’ houses and also many tea houses with geiko were built to form a geiko district later on.
Night Scenes found only in Kyoto
The greatest pleasure in Pontocho is visiting the restaurants along the narrow alley. Especially the paper lanterns lit at night creates ab inviting atmosphere. Just strolling around wondering which restaurant to go will be memorable. Enjoy a night to try out Kyoto cuisine.
Many restaurants in Pontocho take the advantage of their riverside location and make the outside dining space “Noryo Yuka” where you can dine seeing the view of the river in summer. The experience of dining in the cool air while looking at the calm Kamo River definitely make one of the most unforgettable memories in Kyoto.