At the heart of Kyoto the “Flower Districts” around Gion and Pontocho, these are the city’s most famous entertainment districts and the center of traditional culture and nightlife. We will start our tour strolling around a more hidden “flower-district” (the historic name for areas with tea houses featuring music and dance performed by Kyoto’s famous geisha.) If we are lucky we will spot the Maiko and Geiko on their way to there work for the evening.
As dusk falls we will explore the alleys and back streets and make our way to a hidden-gem, cocktail bar that has been awarded for their amazing bar tenders and gold star original drink creations. At our first stop we will try local snacks paired with a delicious cocktail of your choice. This hidden gem bar has a few special features– you can even order a drink based on your “mood” just talk to the bar staff and they will make something special just for you!
As evening deepens we will wend our way around the small side streets and see some of the best views of Japan’s ancient capital. Our next stop will be a restaurant in a family home that dates from over 100 years ago. The host of this delicious riverside gem will be sure to entertain us with stories and specialty food. Try a local Kyoto sake and learn about Sake (rice wine) and why Kyoto is one of Japan’s best regions for brewing this famous beverage. At this spot we will try the proprietor’s famous “appetizer surprise box” and two small plate- dishes featuring mochi (the specialty of this establishment) used in surprising ways. You will surely enjoy the signature Kamo (duck) tasting dish — the chef’s playful Kyoto take on “Peking Duck.
Our final stop, whisky tasting at a posh bar in the Pontocho district. Have a chance to try your choice of Japanese whiskies and see why they have become famous the world over. (Non whisky drinkers can enjoy other beverages.) We will pair our final drink with your choice of sweets or bar snacks and finish up the tour with an atmospheric stroll through this lively nightlife district.
We have a strict policy about starting our tours on time. This is to protect the enjoyment of all our guests and restaurant partners. We are sorry to say that if you are not able to arrive at the meeting point by the departure time, the tour will start regardless and no refund will be provided. We are also unable to accommodate meeting up in any of the food stops once you’ve missed the start of the tour.
Arigato Tours are a great way to meet other travelers and food fans from around the world. However if you would prefer a private tour our rates are an additional fee of $75 per person. Larger groups please contact us by email to arrange.