Things to Do in Kyoto at Night – Local Nightlife Spots

Kyoto night Food & Drinks in Kyoto

Kyoto might not be a great spot for partying compared to a big city like Tokyo you think. But there are other attractive ways to enjoy the nightlife there! In this article, we will introduce some good ways you can enjoy in Kyoto at night. Let’s explore around Kyoto at night to find some different aspects of the city from daytime. 

Kyoto Night Sightseeing Spots 

Arashiyama Kimono Forest 

Here you can see 600 pillars that are made of traditional Yuzen dyeing textile lining up on the street. During the night time, the pillars are illuminated and you can enjoy beautiful and dreamy atmosphere. With its instagramable scenery, it’s one of the best places to take a great picture at night!

Pontocho and Gion district 


In Kyoto, there are currently five active Geisha districts. Pontocho and Gion districts are the two most popular ones and if you are lucky, you might be able to see some Geisha walking on the street! Enjoy strolling around lovely narrow streets among the small restaurants and shops. It almost feels like getting lost in the old times. 

Kamo Riverside 

During the summer season, you can see many people sitting along the riverbank and spend some time just relaxing. Fun fact: this is known as a popular date spot for the local couples and they always sit a certain distance apart. It is very interesting to look at as it comes to the Japanese culture of respecting other people’s space! It is also good place to enjoy some beer feeling good breeze.  

In summer, the riverside becomes extra busy because of kawadoko, which is commonly referred to as yuka in Kyoto. Kawadoko are decks set up along the Kamo river as well as other rivers in Kyoto. They are set up with the purpose cooling down in the hot summers, thanks to the cooling breeze and passing river below. These kawadoko are symbolic features of Kyoto. Every year, the opening ceremony is held on May 25th,and it is a popular event with the maiko and geiko attending to celebrate.

Kyoto Night Activities 

Tea Ceremony Experience 

If you are interested in tea ceremonies, you can learn how to make matcha green tea in the traditional way at the tea ceremony experience. Also you can learn Japanese culture and manner for the ceremony. Spend some Zen time at night through this experience! 

En Tea Ceremony Kyoto
¥2,500 per person

Join Local Bar Hopping Tour 

Would you like to get a local experience with a local English speaking guide? If so, we recommend you to join the bar hopping tour. Your friendly guide will tell you some tips to enjoy the night time in Kyoto and will take you to their favorite places that you will never find otherwise. 

Kyoto Pontocho Backstreet Food and Bar Hopping tour
5.45pm – 8.45pm
¥13,000 per person

Kyoto Night Shows

GEAR Theater 

First of its kind in Japan, GEAR is an unique non-verbal performance. Their performance will touch your all senses! Stage set is a great mixture of the latest and traditional technologies used in Kabuki plays. It will be unforgettable theatrical experience!

GEAR Theater
¥4,200 yen per person, reservation recommended.

Kyoto Dinner with Maiko Performance 

This Ryokan Hatanaka, a Japanese traditional style hotel, has dinner events with Maiko performances at night. You can play some games with Maiko and get to see their traditional dance. Usually most of the places you can see their performance have strict rules and are hard to get in, especially for tourists. But this place is conveniently offer tourists to enjoy Maiko performance during your stay! If you are interested in some unique and traditional Japanese drinking culture, we highly recommend you to get tickets for the show beforehand.

Maiko dinner show
¥19,000 yen (including drinks), reservation recommended.

Kyoto Night Clubs and Bars 

Kyoto Tower Sky Lounge (Bar) 

It is rare to find tall buildings in Kyoto because there is a height restriction for buildings.
But at this sky bar, you can enjoy the beautiful night view with drinks!

Sky lounge at Kyoto Tower Hotel
3pm – 11pm

in the Moon (Bar) 

A rooftop bar that is located in the central Kyoto area. Visit here in the afternoon and have some drinks to watch a great sunset!

in the Moon
5pm – 11.30pm

World Kyoto (Night Club) 

This is a big night club that hosts DJs from all over the world. It is focused on techno, house and electronica and since it is spread over two floors, everyone can get something they are into. Even if the music is not your thing, it is a great place for a drink on the weekend and you can interact with locals! 

World Kyoto
Mon-Thu, Sun from 9pm – 3am, Fri-Sat 9pm – 5am

Kitsune (Night Club) 

Opened in 2015, Kitsune Kyoto has the 800 pax capacity, boosts a festival atmosphere with a top-notch sound system and dazzling lights. They have two themed floors; “land” and “sea”. They often have some famous DJ or artist playing on the weekend. 

Mon-Thu, Sun from 10pm – 4am, Fri-Sat 10pm – 5am


Kyoto’s club culture arguably began here in Marutamachi venue in 1990. Metro always has international DJs on the list and they have some band concerts here too. Their capacity is be around 250 people, so you can experience also some more intimate performances. 


Map of the night spots

We hope this article helped you find some fun things to do at night in Kyoto!

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Happy travelling!

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