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Kyoto Bar Hopping Nightlife Tour in Pontocho

Kyoto Bar Hopping Nightlife Tour in PontochoPub crawl through the hidden local izakaya bars & eateries in Pontocho at night

2797 people already enjoyed this experience
  • 3 hour tour
  • Small group tour
  • English speaking guide

What makes this tour unique

  • Experience deep izakaya & food culture in the backstreets of Kyoto that are normally hard to find for tourists
  • All-in-one bar hopping tour. Drinks & food are included so you can come to the tour empty-handed
  • Hop through 3 local Japanese bars with a friendly local tour guide
  • Get insight into how to enjoy nights in Kyoto like a local
Why NOBU Recommends This Tour

Tips and recommendations by our official guides

Many travelers think that Kyoto has only a few things to do after dark. That is absolutely not so! Kyoto turns into a quaint night town where locals hang out for drinks, all while beautiful, red lanterns glow. Worried about local-only eateries or the language barrier? Don't worry! We are here to share with you the best ways of making the most out of Kyoto nightlife: bar hopping at local izakayas!

Izakayas are a unique aspect of our culture; special places that are hard to translate. They are a combination of a diner and a pub, where people enjoy drinking with well-paired small dishes. A traditional izakaya is usually cozy, which naturally makes people start communicating with one another.

The master at the bar and other customers, for instance communicate over food and drinks.
On this bar hopping tour, you'll experience the best izakaya in the Pontocho and Kiyamachi areas that are personally handpicked by me!

At first, we'll stroll the street of Pontocho and take some good photos in the middle of the red-lantern-dotted lane. We'll stop by the first place, where you'll sample local specialities and recommended drinks, like cold draft beer, Japanese sake, or shochu.

What's next? We will be taking you to places only the locals know and recommend, making for a one and only experience!

MagicalTrip selected the best izakaya menus, enough for a full dinner meal served at each izakaya bar. As this tour is an all-in-one bar tour you can come to the tour empty-handed.

You can get your favorite food and drinks from MagicalTrip's original menu that our local guides chose for you at each izakaya and bar!
You can try some new Japanese food based on your local tour guide's explanations and recommendations.
If you have any food restrictions or preferences, please do not worry! Our menu is vegan/vegetarian friendly.

You can immerse yourself in different atmospheres and try different types of drinks and dishes, all in three hours!


Official guide

What's included
3-4 Drinks
You can choose from our selections
3-4 dishes (Enough for full dinner)
You can choose from our selections! (Vegan menu available)
Hopping 3 local izakaya & bars with a local guide
An english-speaking guide
Photos during a tour
You'll get photos taken during the tour by your guide after the tour via email.

Drink like a local! Go bar hopping in the backstreets of Pontocho, Kyoto at night!

Our meeting spot is in front of the "Izumo no Okuni" statue at Gion Shijo station. After meeting up, we'll spend the next three hours pub crawling our way through some of Kyoto's best local spots. To start, our local guide will take you to an izakaya bar (a local tavern) on Pontocho street, one of the most well known night streets, full of local izakayas to grab a drink or nibble on small dishes. While we're there, we'll have fun conversations with our local guide about Kyoto nightlife, as well as the Kyoto lifestyle. What's next? We will be taking you to places only the locals know and recommend, making for a one and only experience!

Pub crawl through different types of bars. Various drink and izakaya food tastings

We'll continue to hop different bars in the backstreets of Kyoto. You can try some authentic izakayas that serve yakitori or sashimi with a crisp, cold draft beer. Or, if you're a sake-lover, our guide will help you navigate through a sake standing bar that serves Kyoto-made sake. You'll love every single hole-in-the-wall place that would be hard to find on your own!

Enjoy the night like a local! Gain insight into how to enjoy a night in Kyoto

Our guide will give you some tips and insider info on how to enjoy your Kyoto night. Also, we'll play some local-style games and quizzes like the locals do during this tour! Enjoy the great bars, talk with and make local friends, and have a memorable night out in Kyoto!

Meeting Point

Gion Shijo Station, right outside of Exit 5, in front of Izumo no Okuni Statue

See on google maps
  • A guide will be holding a orange signboard saying "Magical Trip Tour"


  • Meeting Place: Gion Shijo Station in Kyoto
  • Hop 3 bars/ Izakaya in Ponto-cho, Gion or Kiyamachi area
  • Return to Gion Shijo Station
  • (You can stay at the last bar if you like)
  • The restaurant industry faces difficulty in hiring restaurant staff and training them due to many restaurant staff having to quit or having gotten laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, food and drinks at some restaurants may be served late making the tour last longer than originally scheduled. We kindly ask for your understanding
  • Because most Japanese restaurants are not fully ready for providing vegetarian menus, limited choices of vegetarian foods in our tour is available.
  • Please note that there may be other participants
  • You do not need to pay for the guide's food and drinks
  • Only person over 20 years of age can drink alcohol by Japanese law
  • Anyone over 15 years old can join this tour
  • This tour could possibly visit places where smoking is not prohibited. Please note that we may not be able to change the tour venues in this case.
  • The itinerary for this tour includes some locations that are not accessible by a wheelchair or stroller.
  • This tour is not recommended for people with mobility issues, if you have walking problems we recommend booking a private tour.
  • Please note that we are unable to guarantee allergy-free or cater to dietary restrictions as the food is prepared in kitchens that do not belong to MagicalTrip. Additionally, there may be instances where substitutions are not possible at certain stops; however, we will make every effort to compensate at different stops throughout the tour.
  • Summer in Japan is very hot and humid, so we recommend that you bring water and wear a hat to prevent heat stroke.
  • Out of respect for other guests and to ensure the best tour for everyone, we must start the tour on time.
  • You will not be able to join the tour, get a refund or reschedule if you are late for the tour and miss the group.
  • We do not recommend bringing young children and baby on this tour. We can refer customers with children to outside sitter services, so please contact us before booking.
Cancel Policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the tour starting time.
  • Free date/time change up to 24 hours till the tour starting time.
  • Cancellation after the starting time or no show, we offer no refund or date/time change.
FAQ of This Tour
How many bars are we going to visit?

We are going to be visiting three bars in all of our Bar Hopping Tours!

What is the minimum age allowed to join this tour?

Anyone over 15 years old can join this tour but only those who are 20 years or older are allowed to drink alcohol by Japanese law.

I don't drink alcohol, Do I have other options?

If you don't drink alcohol, we also offer soft drinks that you can choose from our menu.

Do you have vegan/vegetarian options?

Vegetarian food is available. You get to choose food from various choices at each bar.

Do I need to pay for the guide's food and drink?

No, you don't. Your guide pays on their own and enjoy with all guests!

I do not eat fish / some particular seafood.

If you don't eat fish or other seafood, you don't need to worry. We offer a variety of food in our menu to choose from. We try to balance between meat, fish, and vegetarian options so you always can enjoy eating at every bar. Please remember to put that in your booking comments so that our guide can be well-prepared for it.

More questions? Please check out the general Q&As.

Please visit Help Center for general inquiries.

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