Many travelers think that Kyoto has only a few things to do after dark. 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.
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, 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.
For the second and third place, a guide will recommend a group some izakaya and local bars on the Magical Trip Bar Hopping Map, based on your preferences.
This map lists some of the best local bars around, varying from typical standing izakayas, to some unique ones (my favorite is a Japanese whiskey bar).
You'll enjoy choosing these spots with the local guide and the other travelers in the group. Which, of course, is exactly what the locals do when hopping bars!
You can immerse yourself in different atmospheres and try different types of drinks and dishes, all in three hours!