top of page


  • Writer's pictureKyoto Localized

The 5 Best Night Tours in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto

The 5 Best Night Tours in Kyoto

Joining night tours in Kyoto is an awesome way to see this old historic city in a different light. Kyoto at night gives you wonderfully lit temples and shrines, narrow alleyways that become more romantic, as well as crazy unforgettable nightlife.

With the number of things to do in Kyoto, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones should be on your priority list.

Of course, we’re here to help you out. We’ve come up with the best things to do in Kyoto at night and group them together in one night tour. Here are our five best night tours in Kyoto:

1. Gion Night Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto
(Yasaka Shrine at night | Image Courtesy of Luca Florio / Unsplash)

If you are staying in Gion, the popular geisha district in Kyoto, the place in itself is already a tourist hotspot for all things entertainment, food, and drink. By night, Gion is a whole different district to experience. Depending on your preferred tour operator, your Gion night tour might include roaming around the area to spot geishas, hopping between bars and restaurants, or visiting popular Kyoto attractions like Yasaka Shrine and Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka slopes.

2. Bar-Hopping Night Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto
(A restaurant in Pontocho | Image Courtesy of Herry Lawford / Flickr)

The best way to learn about Japanese food and drink is to go bar-hopping. Bar-hopping night tours in Kyoto will bring you to some well-known spots like Nishiki Market and Pontocho. Some must-try food in Kyoto includes matcha desserts, yudofu, agedashi, and nishin soba, among many others.

At Nishiki Market, you’ll be able to experience the taste of Japanese authentic cuisine in more than a hundred shops and restaurants. It’s not called “Kyoto’s Kitchen” for nothing. Pontocho, meanwhile, offers a distinct drink and dining experience. A narrow alley located in Hanamachi district, Pontocho preserves traditional tea houses and entertainment making it a great area to spot geishas around while you’re hopping between bars and restaurants.

3. Geisha Night Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto
(Geishas spotted in Gion | Image Courtesy of Sorasak / Unsplash)

Geishas are among the most misunderstood professionals in the world. If you’ve seen the 2005 Academy award-winning movie ‘Memoirs of Geisha,’ chances are high that you’ve looked at them the wrong way. What better way to meet them up close and personal or know more about them than joining a geisha night tour?

Usually, geisha night tours in Kyoto cover Gion and Pontocho, areas where there are ochaya or traditional tea houses frequented by maikos and geikos for their engagements. Note that it’s highly discouraged to ask for photos or even take photos of geishas from a distance. It’s intrusive and disrespectful. In addition, if you’re thinking about visiting an ochaya just to see a geisha, most tea houses don’t deal straight with tourists, especially first-time visitors. It’s best to join geisha tours in Kyoto if you really want to interact with them.

4. Tea Ceremony Night Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto
(Former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama in a tearoom with a tea master | Image Courtesy of Amanda Lucidon / Official White House Photo)

Dive deeper into the Japanese culture and traditions. A tea ceremony night tour in Kyoto will immerse you in the traditional authentic tea ceremony in an old house with a tea master. Tea ceremony night tours in Kyoto often include a light traditional Japanese meal with various thick and thin teas that represent the Japanese seasons and fresh sweets. On top of that is a crash course to the beautiful Japanese utensils and the movements inside a tearoom.

5. Fushimi Inari Photography Night Tour in Kyoto

Kyoto Walking Tour Free | Walking Tour in Kyoto | Things to do in Kyoto
(Fushimi Inari | Image Courtesy of pxhere)

Fushimi Inari is one of the most photographed Kyoto attractions. If you want to have unique photos to share, doing a Fushimi Inari night tour in Kyoto is your way to get those shots. Visiting Fushimi Inari by night is also a great way to avoid the unstoppable crowds any time of the day. If you are new to photography, look for a tour that’s handled by a professional photographer. You will definitely learn tons of techniques and tips.

If you want to see what the city has to offer by day, we also have a short list of the best day tours in Kyoto so be sure to check that out. Meanwhile, check out this article if you want to know some free things to do in Kyoto.

What do you think our best night tours in Kyoto list?


Kyoto is the heart of Japan and has rich history and culture. Our walking tours will show you why. On our Walking Tours you will learn about the Old and New Kyoto, tradition, religion, history, food, and culture. Free Walking Tours in Kyoto | Kyoto Walking Tours. Book your free walking tour of Kyoto today.




bottom of page