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Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour

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Kyoto, Japan
Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour

From $104.07

Price varies by group size

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Experience the glowing lanterns and lively atmosphere of Kyoto after dark on this evening walking tour with a small group. Experience the ancient Japanese capital after dark as you stroll the city’s serene back streets and visit city landmarks like Yasaka Shrine, the Pontocho restaurant district, and a ‘tachinomiya’ stand and drink shop for included food and drink samples.
  • Explore the charming back streets and traditional Japanese lanterns of this ancient Japanese capital
  • Try to catch a glimpse of a kimono-clad 'Geisha' in Kyoto's Gion area
  • Included Japanese food and drink samples
  • Small group trip limited to no more than 12 guests
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Local English speaking guide
Food samplings: traditional Japanese snacks and drinks
Additional food and drink
Souvenirs and items of a personal nature
Transportation to/from the meeting point

Departure Point

570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0074, Japan

Departure Time

6:30 PM

Return Details

Naginatabokocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8008, Japan
Meet your guide in front of Kyoto’s Gion Corner in the evening to begin your after-dark adventure. During the course of your evening, experience a cross-section of the historic attractions and lively social life of this famous Japanese city.

Travel through Kyoto’s well-known ‘Geisha’ district, Gion, as you stop by Minamiza Theatre. If you’re lucky you might even catch a glimpse of one of these kimono-clad hostesses as they pass down the area’s narrow alleys. Continue next to Yasaka Shrine to enjoy the site’s celebratory mood and the throngs of locals who come for the numerous street food vendors who set up shop nearby. Everything from squid snacks to frozen bananas are available for purchase.

Pass through the backstreets of Gion, noticing the contrast of this area’s more modern nightspots with the historic architecture from earlier in your walk, continuing across Kyoto’s Kamo River. On the other side is Pontocho, an entertainment area of bars and eateries lit by traditional lanterns that have been located at this site for many centuries.

Proceed next to Teramachi, a retail area famous for its diverse range of retailers selling everything from ‘manga’ comics to Japanese booksellers to shops peddling Buddhist altars and sushi knife stores. Finish your walking excursion at a ‘tachinomiya,’ a Japanese-style ‘stand and drink shop’ where you can sample some typical food and drink. End your trip at Shijo-Karasuma station.
Stop At:  
One of the most famous spots in Kyoto and the heart of unique Maiko and Geisha culture. The streets are filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya where Maiko and Geisha perform. Gion is beautiful at night when lanterns are lit.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
The Yasui Kompira-gu is popular amongst young women who want to break off a bad relationship. The very unique ritual of crawling through a hole in the paper covered stone is performed here.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Nineizaka (Ninenzaka)
Ninenzaka is a charming sloped street filled with shops, cafes and restaurants housed in traditional buildings.
Duration: 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Yasaka Shrine
Founded over 1350 years ago, Yasaka shrine is one of the most famous shrines in Kyoto. Hundreds of lanterns are lit in the evenings. The famous festival, Gion Matsuri is held there in July every year.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Pontocho District
Pontocho alley is filled with a variety of restaurants and bars, ranging from inexpensive to gourmet cuisine. It is the most atmospheric dining street in Kyoto.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Modest dress is highly recommended as you will be visiting a shrine (It is recommended to have your shoulders and knees covered.)
  • Small group is a maximum of 12 people
  • Some food allergies can be accommodated; please advise your local tour operator at the time of booking
  • Minimum age is 20 years
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Urban Adventures - Japan

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the social distancing policy during Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour?
The policies on social distancing are:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour?
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour.
What is the maximum group size during Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Lonely Planet Experiences: Small-Group or Private Kyoto Walking Tour.

Traveler Photos


57 Reviews
3 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 57 reviews
Very enjoyable and
, Apr 2019
I would definitely recommend this tour . Guide was very knowledgeable and Gion is lovely to see at night and the walk was very interesting
was a cold night but LOVED this trip...
Olivia O
, Apr 2018
was a cold night but LOVED this trip so much! our guide was German but living in Japan which was very interesting.
This is a great way to see Kyoto our...
Mark R
, Mar 2018
This is a great way to see Kyoto our Guide Julian was incredible, fun informative and full of knowledge. He had a great sense of humour which suited us down to the ground , we saw so much and Kyoto at night is superb. We saw Geiko and Meiko so we were very lucky, also a light festival was being set up so some of the temples and shrines had beautiful lighting. A must do I say .
What a fun tour! It was great to...
, Jan 2018
What a fun tour! It was great to see the sites in the evening without the crowds. We had a great time with the tour guide. It was more like going around with a friend and then out for drinks afterwards.
Very nice guide, extremely...
Eric H
, Dec 2017
Very nice guide, extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Would do it again.
The tour guide was fascinating and...
Mrs R W
, Nov 2017
The tour guide was fascinating and the sites in the moonlight were amazing . A delightful evening . An excellent tour
The guide was obviously new and...
, Nov 2017
The guide was obviously new and inexperienced, making the tour a bad experience. I could not wait for it to end. There was no toilet break till I ask for it and the guide was not able to give much information of the places we went. We had only one meal and drink at the end of the tour when the tour said it was snacks and drinks, giving me the impressions that there should be more than one meal.Am I short changed?
We had a wonderful walk through the...
Sally B
, Nov 2017
We had a wonderful walk through the back laneways with our guide Tatsuro who was very helpful with explaining about the Gion area including lots of information about the geishas and their lifestyle, we even saw some geishas then we moved on to a local shrine with our guide once again explaining points of interest..after that we thoroughly enjoyed our traditional Japanese snack...would highly recommend this tour as it gave us a snapshot of life in the Gion area
Our local guide Pepijn was extremely...
Katrina M
, Sep 2017
Our local guide Pepijn was extremely knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed the tour. There was plenty of walking through the narrow back streets of the Gion region. We were very lucky to see three geisha and two maiko during our tour. We discovered some fantastic restaurants which we came back to the next day. The included dinner - traditional okonomiyaki was lovely. The tour concluded in a small bar where we enjoyed a drink together as a group. Would highly recommend the tour as you get to see a different side to the region at night.
Our tour guide Pepijin was excellent...
Matthew R
, Sep 2017
Our tour guide Pepijin was excellent and highlighting things that a foreigner would find interesting, and explaining their historical and cultural context. The Tour is mostly around the Gion area, and was a good value despite there is only 1 drink, 1 snack, and 1 local dinner item. I was hoping for more, but the guide Pepijin and the area by themselves make it an excellent tour, particularly in the evening time, plus you then know were to go back for 2nds.

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