Sightseeing things to do Japan > kyoto

Best Things To Do At Night In Kyoto, Japan

Hannah
Updated Apr 12, 2019

Kyoto, Japan’s most beautiful city, is mostly known for its hundreds of temples. There are a lot of things in Kyoto that will keep you occupied during your visit. Among them is Kinkaku-Ji, also known as the Golden Pavillion. It is the most photographed landmark in Kyoto that is the most beautiful during the spring as it is surrounded by a Zen garden. Other attractions include the toriis of Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nijo Castle and the hidden waterfall of Nanzen-Ji. Explore the city with your family, your friends and even your significant other. If you are a night owl, we’ve prepared a list of the things to do at night while in Kyoto. Check it out!

1. Enjoy atmospheric dining in Pontocho (from USD 146)

Kyoto’s Pontocho is a narrow alley that runs north to south from Shijo Dori to Sanjo Dori. It is commonly known for geiko and maiko performances, a home to many geiko houses and traditional tea houses. The alley is packed with restaurants on both sides that offer a wide range of dining options. From yakitori to traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine and also foreign cuisine. Eat from one of these restaurants as you wait for your bedtime.

Kyoto Casual Evening Pontocho Food Tour

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2. Watch Geisha performances in Gion Corner (from USD 113)

Gion Corner, located on the north side of Gion’s Kaburenjo Hall, is a theatre presenting one-hour shows every day as from 6.00pm-7.00pm. They feature shows of Kyoto’s professional performing arts where Maiko and Geiko give their presentations. These are geishas in Kyoto and Western Japan whose jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the traditional Japanese instruments for visitors. If you are travelling with your kids, be sure to take them to this place as they will definitely enjoy watching these shows.

Gion by Night: Culture Performance with Dinner

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Rating 4/5

Number of Reviews 77

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3. Enjoy dinner at Soradoko Rooftop Garden


This should be the spot you take your significant other or friends to dinner. At night, this place a bar with a romantic and relaxing atmosphere and during the day its a cafe with a stunning view. Depending on your number and occasion, this place a variety of seating options. Also, there are a variety of dishes served here including tasty tapas and succulent cuts of prime rib eye steaks

Soradoko Rooftop Garden

Address: Sanjo Forum Building, 110 Sanjo-Dori Kawaramachi Higashi-iru Nakajimacho, Nakagyo-Ku, Kyoto

Website: Soradoko Rooftop Garden

Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 5:00 pm to 12:00 am

Price: 3,000 - 4,000 JPY (27 - 36 USD)

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4. Visit Yasaka Shrine (from USD 27)

This is a Shinto shrine situated at the east end of Shijō-dōri. The shrine includes gates, the main hall and a stage. It is a beautiful site full of character and natural charm. The shrine is a popular spot for tourists and its street-facing vermilion gate is the district’s landmark. Visit the shrine at night so as to enjoy the beautiful charm of the lanterns.

Kyoto: 2 Hours Small Group Historical Walking Tour

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Rating 4.9 / 5

Number of Reviews 13

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5. Visit Kiyomizu-dera temple (from USD 18)

Also known as Pure Water Temple, this is one of the highly celebrated temples in Kyoto, Japan. It derives its name from the pure waters of the Otowa waterfall which is at the base of the temple. It is best known for its wooden stage which sticks out of the main hall and offers the visitors a stunning view of Kyoko city and the numerous cherry and maple trees. There are a lot of things to see and sights to discover around the temple. It is open till 9.00 pm depending on the season.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple Highlights Tour with National Licensed Guide

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6. Take a stroll along the Kamogawa River (from USD 177)

Kamogawa, which translates to ‘duck river,’ is a long stretch of river running from the Kyoto Basin down south to the Yodo River. Its walkway serves the locals who are always going out and about their daily lives. Tourists also visit this spot to enjoy the sound of the flowing river, for a breath of fresh air and to relax away from the large crowd of Kyoto. Restaurants around here have their balconies overlooking the river. People enjoy outdoor dining to enjoy the cool breeze of the evening with their food. Visit Kamogawa River during dusk, or just when the sun is about to set and later walk through Gion, a beautiful alley lit up by street lights and traditional lamps.

Kyoto Evening Gion Food Tour

Duration

Rating 5.0 / 5

Number of Reviews 5

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7. Have a drink at a Machiya Style Bar


Machiya’s are Japan’s townhouses which have been renovated into nightspots. There are several Machiya Bars in Kyoto which feature dim light, seasonal cocktails and standard drinks. They also feature different types of music depending on the one you have chosen. The bars are the best spots to hang out at night with friends or significant others.

Bar K - ya

Address: 103 Yaoyacho (Rokkakudori), Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 604-8072, Japan

Opening hours: 6:00 pm - 2:00 am

Price: 20 to 30 USD

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8. Go on a Gion Night Walk (from USD 10)

Discover the beauty of Gion at night as you watch the geisha perform and also walk through the street. The cobble-stoned street is atmospheric in the early evening when the lanterns are lit and the geisha flit about the back streets on their way to their appointments. You can either hire a guide who will describe to you the history of the street or discover on your own.

Night Walk in Gion: Kyoto's Geisha District

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Rating 4.5 / 5

Number of Reviews 399

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9. Enjoy the glittering view from Kyoto Tower (from USD 1)

Standing atop a 9-storey high rise, the Kyoto Tower is an iconic landmark with a viewing deck that provides a panoramic view of the quaint city and, on clear days, even as far as Osaka. The location of this attraction is perfect too! Just walk across the street from Kyoto Station and you’re there. For a city that is famous for beautiful shrines and traditional houses, the tower stands out and can hardly be missed.

Kyoto Tower Admission Ticket

Duration 1 Hrs Duration

Rating 4.6/5

Number of Reviews 567

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Explore Kyoto at night

With the list above, you needn’t worry about how to kill your time once the sun sets. Fill in your evenings and nights with these options and enjoy Kyoto!

This article was originally published on Mar 12, 2019

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