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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai - Kyoto - Central Kyoto
Pontocho 
# 22   of 59 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.
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.
Ryokan Hirashin
3min walk to Shijo Karasuma Sta. Spacious Japanese-style rooms. 140 years of history. Public baths renovated in 2006.
Japanese hotel, Ryokan Nishiyama
Experience the real Japan at our affordable ryokan. Close to major tourist spots in Kyoto.
Recommended Hotels around Kyoto - with lowest rates by selected hotel reservation websites
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.
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Agoda or Booking
Khaosan Kyoto Guest House
Cheap and popular hostel located in the heart of the city near Kawaramachi Station.
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New Miyako Hotel Kyoto
Reasonably priced 3-star hotel located just across the street from Kyoto Station.
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Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
Modern hotel along Sanjo Street close to Pontocho and other dining options.
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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 430 users):
80/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 787):
400.  Kamo Shrines (Kyoto)   80/100
401.  Mt. Tenjo Ropeway (Fuji Five Lakes)   80/100
402.  Naritasan Temple (Narita)   80/100
403.  Hakkeijima (Yokohama)   80/100
404.  Toyota Related Sights (Nagoya)   80/100
405.  Pontocho (Kyoto)   80/100
406.  Toyako Onsen (Lake Toya)   80/100
407.  Wakakusayama (Nara)   80/100
408.  Historic Village (Sapporo)   80/100
409.  Nakagusuku Castle (Okinawa Island)   80/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 913):
93.  Akasaka Sacas (Tokyo)   823
94.  Kenrokuen (Kanazawa)   818
95.  Chionin Temple (Kyoto)   816
96.  Kappabashi Street (Tokyo)   811
97.  Engakuji Temple (Kamakura)   799
98.  Pontocho (Kyoto)   797
99.  Odori Park (Sapporo)   791
100.  Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto)   789
101.  Sengakuji Temple (Tokyo)   787
102.  Futarasan Shrine (Nikko)   769

User Feedback
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Japanese Links
Pontocho Norenkai
Official website.

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