Hi,I’m Keiko from Osaka!
Kyoto is beyond temple and shrine viewing.
As matter of fact, Kyoto offers one of the most vibrant nightlife you can have in Japan, presenting you both traditions of the old capital and glimpse of the modern city life.
You will find whatever you are looking for in this city that never sleeps!
Here are 5 things you can try to enjoy Kyoto at night.
Local tells 5 Things to Do in Kyoto at Night!
1.Stroll around Houkan-ji TempleHoukan-ji Temple, or more commonly known as “Yasaka-no-tou (Yasaka Pagoda)” is a 46-meter tall pagoda that stands gracefully on the scenic paths between Kiyomizu temple and Yasaka Shine.
At night, the magically lit pagoda becomes one of the most sought-after views in Kyoto.
The point here would not necessary be to see the Pagoda from its temple compound, but rather to enjoy its view from the surrounding areas of Higashiyama.
The lantern-lit cobble stone paths leading to or from Kiyomizu Temple would be a nice place to view the Pagoda from.
The paths, which are usually packed with tourists during the day, become a quiet background for the majestic Pagoda.
From Maruyama Park, you can enjoy the illuminated Pagoda against the beautiful Kyoto’s skyline.
Or how about sipping a premium cup of coffee while viewing sunset or twilight views of the Pagoda from Slow Jet Coffee Shop located next to Kodaiji temple.
In order to get to area, take the City Bus #206 from Kyoto Station to Higashiyama Yasui stop.
2.Visit Fushimi Inari ShrineFushimi Inari Shrine is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates.
This iconic shrine is open to public 24 hours a day.
People sparse at night even for this shrine that is usually flooded with tourists.
You are likely to have great opportunities to capture photos of magically lit vermilion gates without being pushed around by waves of tourists.
Gates are lit, though the shrine which is located inside the mountain can be still dark.
Please do watch your steps, and for those who are scared of shrines at night, you might want target at sunset and twilight.
3.Dine and Wine at Ponto-cho and KiyamachiKyoto’s nightlife cannot end without experiencing Ponto-cho or Kiyamachi.
Ponto-cho Alley is a narrow street lined with dimly lit wooden buildings along Kamo River with a nostalgic old capital feel of Kyoto.
The alley is packed with bars, clubs, restaurants, as well as formal teahouses where Geisha perform/serve.
Kiyamachi strip, a modern and larger version, stretches one block off, around Shijo and Sanjo Streets.
This area offers bars, restaurants, and clubs of various styles and sizes, that can be more accessible than those in Ponto-cho.
How about a nice cocktail in Bar Atlantis, who has seats outside on wooden-platforms overlooking Kamo-river (May to September) or Sent James Club Bar in Ponto-cho that has the traditional Japanese atmospheres?
Jo Social Sake Bar is a great choice for those wanting to try sake bar, and Samboa Kiyamachi would be great for whisky lovers.
Stroll around and try a few places to fully enjoy the Kyoto nightlife!
To get to Ponto-cho or Kiyamachi areas, you can take CIty Bus to Shijo-Kawaramachi, or take Hankyu Railway to Kawaramachi Station.
Click here for related information:
Local tells Top 5 best restaurants around Pontocho alley in Kyoto!
Next,let’s go to Kyoto Tower, one of the symbols of Kyoto!
If you want to explore the back-streets of Gion and Ponto-cho, Try this Kyoto Bar Hopping Food Tour with MagicalTrip .
4.Enjoy the glitters of Kyoto from Kyoto TowerKyoto Tower is the tallest modern building in Kyoto at 131m.
On the observation deck, which is at 100m, you can have a 360-degree night view of Kyoto.
There are telescopes set up at different directions which can be used for free.
Though 100m isn’t one of the highest for an observation deck, since Kyoto doesn’t have many tall buildings, you can enjoy the full and clear view of the beautiful skyline.
Try going there around the sunset, and enjoy the sunset, twilight, and night scenes.
This is guaranteed to be one of the most romantic places in Kyoto.
The entrance fee to the observation deck is ¥770 for an adult.
This sounds too pricy?
Cross over to Kyoto Station Building.
Though not as majestic as the views of the observation deck, you can still admire the city’s night view through a skyway on the 11th floor, for free.
5.Club Scenes in KyotoKyoto, being one of the major and cosmopolitan cities in Japan, offers one of the most vibrant and diverse club scenes in Japan.
You will enjoy great music, excellent drinks, and mingling with other tourists or Japanese locals.
“Club World, Kyoto” does just that.
It is a massive and internationally acclaimed club, focusing on techno and house, that hosts DJs from all over the world.
“Kitsune Kyoto” is another great and newer option popular among foreign visitors and expats, with its 800-capacity space with a great sound system perfect for electronic dance music.
“Club Metro” is a Kyoto classic, where you’ll get to dance to house, techno and R&B.
“Club Metro” hosts many interesting events.
Every last Fridays of the month are the Club’s drag queen night, one of the favorites of club enthusiasts.
Here is the video of Kitsune Kyoto.
For booking of Club World or further information, please visit:Voyagin
5 Things to Do in Kyoto at Night
- Stroll around Houkan-ji Temple・・・The magically lit pagoda becomes one of the most sought-after views in Kyoto.
- Visit Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine・・・You can see magically lit vermilion gates.
- Dine and Wine at Ponto-cho and Kiyamachi・・・This area offers bars, restaurants, and clubs of various styles and sizes.
- Enjoy the glitters of Kyoto from Kyoto Tower ・・・This is guaranteed to be one of the most romantic places in Kyoto.
- Club Scenes in Kyoto・・・“Club World, Kyoto”,“Kitsune Kyoto”and “Club Metro” are the popular clubs in Kyoto.
I hope you enjoy the nightlife in Kyoto!