Though Kyoto's nightlife is more sedate than Osaka's, the areas around the old geisha quarters downtown thrive with nightclubs and bars. The Kiyamachi area along the small canal near Ponto-cho in central Kyoto is packed full of bars, restaurants, and a few dance clubs and is as close to a consolidated nightlife area as you'll get in Kyoto. It's full of small watering holes with red lanterns (indicating inexpensive places) or small neon signs in front. It's also fun to walk around the Gion in eastern Kyoto and Ponto-cho in central Kyoto to try to catch a glimpse of a geisha or maiko stealing down an alleyway on her way to or from an appointment.

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  • 1. Bonds Rosary

    Higashiyama-ku | Music Clubs

    Performances almost nightly with Japanese and non-Japanese musicians. Seat charge is ¥600, but the cover charge changes with the acts. The venue...Read More

  • 2. Café Independants

    Nakagyo-ku | Music Clubs

    Trestle tables line the graffiti-covered walls of this basement café-bar that hosts indie rock, jazz, and blues musicians. It's a good place...Read More

  • 3. Club Metro

    Sakyo-ku | Music Clubs

    Popular Metro frequently hosts famous DJs from Tokyo and abroad. The range of music played—experimental dance, hip-hop, reggae, disco, salsa...Read More

  • 4. Taku Taku

    Shimogyo-ku | Music Clubs

    An enduring live-music venue that generally presents rock and blues acts, Taku Taku occasionally hosts well-known Japanese performers. You can...Read More


    Music Clubs

    The atmosphere is very “New York experimental theater” at this multidisciplinary venue for music, dance, video, and other performances about...Read More

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