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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Central Kyoto
Pontocho 
# 22   of 60 most visited
sights in Kyoto

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Restaurant entrances along Pontocho

Pontocho (l, Pontochō) is one of Kyoto's most atmospheric dining areas. It is a narrow alley running from Shijo-dori to Sanjo-dori, one block west of Kamogawa River. The alley is packed with restaurants on both sides offering a wide range of dining options from inexpensive yakitori to traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine, foreign cuisine and highly exclusive establishments that require the right connections and a fat wallet.

Business hours and closing days of the restaurants, bars and shops along Pontocho vary by establishment, but most places are usually open from around 17:00 to 23:00. Some also open for lunch. An increasing number of establishments offer English menus.

Most of the restaurants along the eastern side of the alley overlook Kamogawa River. From May to September, many of them build temporary platforms over the flowing water where patrons can dine out in the open air. Known as kawayuka, this type of dining was developed as a way to beat the summer heat and is a great way to try some traditional Kyoto cuisine while taking in the cooling effects of the flowing water and the lively summer atmosphere. Advance reservations for kawayuka are recommended especially on Fridays and Saturdays.

Kawayuka along Kamogawa River

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How to get there
The closest bus stop to Pontocho is Shijo Kawaramachi, which is served by numerous bus lines, including lines 17 and 205 from Kyoto Station. The closest train stations are Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line and Shijo Station on the Keihan Line.

How to get to and around Kyoto

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Hotels and Ryokan
Kyoto offers a wide range of accommodation for all budgets and tastes, including historic ryokan, Western style hotels and low-budget hostels. Among the most attractive districts to stay are the Kyoto Station area, the city center around Shijo Street and the Higashiyama District.
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Ryokan Wakamiya
Inexpensive, cozy inn with helpful staff. 7 min walk from JR Kyoto Sta. Free Internet PC. Communal baths on top floor.
Hotel Sanoya
3 min from north exit of JR Kyoto Sta. but in quiet area. Cozy, clean Japanese rooms with bath. Internet PC in lobby.
Ryokan Hirashin
3min walk to Shijo Karasuma Sta. Spacious Japanese-style rooms. 140 years of history. Public baths renovated in 2006.
Izuyasu
Peaceful small ryokan with 170-year history. 10min walk from JR Kyoto Sta. The 7th inn keeper serves Kyoto Kaiseki cuisines. Private baths & Wi-Fi. Renovated in 2013.
Japanese hotel, Ryokan Nishiyama
Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. Close to major tourist spots in Kyoto.
Recommended Hotels around Kyoto
Backpackers Hostel Ks House Kyoto
One of Kyoto's most popular hostels. A ten minute walk from Kyoto Station.
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Agoda or Booking
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located inside Kyoto Station, this is Kyoto's most convenient 4-star hotel.
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Agoda or Booking
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Hotel
Elegant luxury hotel located near Sanjusangendo Temple.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
Reserve through
Agoda or Booking

Tours and Packages
Kyoto Tours
Various tours and travel packages for Kyoto and surroundings.

User Ratings
Ratings for Pontocho:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 447 users):
79/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 805):
429.  Morning Market (Hakodate)   80/100
430.  Kinpusenji Temple (Yoshino)   80/100
431.  Naritasan Temple (Narita)   80/100
432.  Zoorasia (Yokohama)   80/100
433.  Tamozawa Villa (Nikko)   79/100
434.  Pontocho (Kyoto)   79/100
435.  Hakkeijima (Yokohama)   79/100
436.  Oshima Island (Matsushima)   79/100
437.  Oharaimachi (Ise Shima)   79/100
438.  Usuzan Ropeway (Lake Toya)   79/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 928):
91.  Honganji Temples (Kyoto)   864
92.  NHK Studiopark (Tokyo)   849
93.  Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)   847
94.  Chionin Temple (Kyoto)   844
95.  Akasaka Sacas (Tokyo)   842
96.  Pontocho (Kyoto)   830
97.  Kappabashi Street (Tokyo)   828
98.  Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)   826
99.  Engakuji Temple (Kamakura)   820
100.  Odori Park (Sapporo)   811

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

Japanese Links
Pontocho Norenkai
Official website.

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