Guided tour

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kyoto Evening Tour with a Local

4.4 / 5

33 reviews

Lonely Planet Experiences: Kyoto Evening Tour with a Local

From US$ 74.76 per person

Experience Kyoto's magic as it comes alive after dark on a 3.5-hour walking tour with a local guide. Visit scenic temples & shrines rarely seen by tourists, discover Kyoto’s fascinating historic & modern blend, and snack on traditional Japanese treats.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures apply. Learn more
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Duration 3.5 hours
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Live tour guide


  • Experience the magic of Kyoto after dark
  • Look out for the different types of geisha in the fabled geisha district
  • Visit local spots that most tourists miss such as the Yasui Konpira-gu Shrine
  • Stroll past the historic wooden walls and lanterns of Yasaka, to the bustle of Karasuma’s local bars
  • Sample tasty snacks as you soak up the lively local atmosphere
Full description
Experience the best travel stories for yourself! Join a local expert and uncover hidden gems on this Lonely Planet Experience. Immerse yourself in the drama of Kyoto at night and walk the lantern-lit wooden streets. Get a feel for the nightlife scene with the help of a local guide. Go to the Minamiza Theatre in the famous Geisha district of Gion and keep a look out for the geiko and maiko. Escape the crowds and venture through the backstreets to arrive at Yasaka Shrine. Marvel as it is brought to life by the bright lights and buzzing crowds. Continue to the north part of Gion to find narrow streets lined with smaller and more modern clubs and bars that contrast with the Old Town. Cross the Kamo River and get a sprawling view of the restaurant district before entering the entertainment district of Pontocho, lit by traditional Japanese lanterns. Go to the Teramachi arcade, where merchants sell everything from Manga comic books to statues of ancient gods and high-quality sushi knives. End with a visit to the Nishiki food market to check out a tachinomiya (stand-up only bar) popular with the locals.
  • Local English-speaking guide
  • Traditional Japanese snacks and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Additional food and drinks
  • Tips/gratuities for your guide
Not suitable for
  • People under 20 years
  • People with mobility impairments
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • You must keep social distance while in vehicles
  • The number of visitors is limited to reduce crowds
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • You are required to bring and wear a mask
  • All participants who are over 18 years old must present proof of full vaccination. Participants aged 6-17 must present either proof of full vaccination, proof of Covid-19 infection in the past 9 months, or a negative PCR or lateral flow Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before the activity starts

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Meeting point

Meet at the entrance to the Gion Corner theater, Hanamikoji Dori, 570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku ward, Kyoto. Directions: The meeting point is 4 blocks from the intersection of Shijo-Street and Hanamikoji-Street. Hnamikoji-Street is 2 blocks east from Shijo-Ohashi Bridge. Take the city bus to Shijo Kawaramachi, the Hankyu railway to Kawaramachi Station, exit 1 (10-minute walk) or the Keihan railway to Gion-shijō Station, exit 6, (5-minute walk). From JR Kyoto Station it is an approximately 25-minute journey or about 15 minutes by taxi.

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Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes

Know before you go

  • This tour includes a brief visit to a small shrine. Modest dress is highly recommended. Keep your shoulders covered and wear pants or a skirt that covers the knees
  • You must be at least 20 years old to take part
  • Maximum group size is 12 people
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.4 /5

based on 33 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Value for money
  • Service
  • Organization

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Gion is really pretty at night and our guide Ko was great, taking us on a good route and giving extra detail about the sights. We had good food at an okonomiyaki restaurant which we went back to again during our stay in Kyoto. Ko had a good sense of humour and it was a fun evening.

December 8, 2019

Private tour with standing bar finish!

We had actually missed the original tour date because the link in the email from the third-party accidentally pointed us to the wrong location (however it has since been fixed!!!) and the company was gracious enough to reschedule our tour for the following evening. Sean was super informative and we felt comfortable talking with him and learning from him for ~3 hours. It was really nice walking around Gion at night because it's less crowded than most daytime locations in Kyoto (at least when we went it was), and at the end we went to a restaurant for okonomiyaki, and a standing bar which was super fun and new to us. We would definitely book again!

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September 28, 2018

Excellent Night Tour with a good coverage of the Area.

Enjoyed seeing the night view of the Gion District, the Yasaka Pagoda and seeing the night life area of Kiyamachi. Julian gave us a good insight into various aspects of the Geisha Lifestyle and also about the surrounding areas including some nice snacks and Dinner. It was a pretty good experience .

April 23, 2018

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Product ID: 70355