Yes, Kyoto has so many different places to see in the daytime that you can’t possibly see them all, but did you know there are also some great spots for night time sightseeing? You can make even more memories by taking advantage of some of these night spots. This time we will tell you about some of the night spots in Kyoto which you don’t want to miss. You may even want to hire a babysitter so you can enjoy your night out without kids!
1. Night Views of Castles, Shrines, and Temples
When you think of Kyoto, you think of many shrines, temples and historical places, but the truth is some of those places can be enjoyed not only in the daytime, but at night too! Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, which is known as a place to pray for knowledge, Fushimi Inari Taisha, famous for its thousand torii gates, World Heritage site Nijo Castle, Yasaka Jinja Shrine, known as a place to pray for connections, are all beautiful at night. Seeing these places at night is a different experience than seeing them in the daytime, please go and enjoy the mysterious atmospheres.
2. Togetsukyo Bridge Light Up
Located in one of the most popular sightseeing areas of Kyoto, Arashiyama, Togetsukyo Bridge crosses the Katsura River and is visited by many tourists each year. Every year in December for a period of about 10 days the bridge is lit up for an event called Arashiyama Hanatouro. During this event lanterns light the passages of Saga and Arashiyama. If your trip happens to coincide with the event, you should definitely visit the area at night to see the lanterns and the bridge lit up at.
3. Hanamikoji-dori (Hanamikoji Street)
The road leading from Sanjo-dori to Kenninji Temple is about 1km long and known as Hanamikoji-dori. Loaded with different temples and shrines and tea houses, you can have a great time here during the day. At night, however, the street is lit by lanterns and you can see a fantastically illuminated cobblestone. You may even catch a glimpse of maiko-san or geiko-san making their way through the street for their evening dinner shows!
4. Noryoyuka at Kamogawa River
Do you know about noryoyuka? A tradition in summer in Kyoto, it is a spot where you can dine outside on raised platforms over the river. Kyoto summers are hot and humid, but if you sit over the river you can feel a cool breeze. It is definitely an atmosphere like no other you have experienced. These days the restaurants along the river are not only Japanese cuisine, but you can also find French food and other cuisines. As this is something only seen in summer, this type of dining is only available each year from around May through September.
For a delicious dinner in Kyoto, how about Ponto-cho? There are many restaurants here which have preserved the old style feeling of Kyoto’s machiya. You will find restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide of Japan, restaurants so popular you can hardly get a reservation, and restaurants with cuisines from other parts of the world. We are sure wherever you eat in Ponto-cho will become one of your favorite restaurants on your trip!
6. Kyoto Tower
Kyoto Tower, right across the street from Kyoto Station, stands 131 meters tall. Compared to other towers around the world, it’s not so tall, but because Kyoto has laws about the heights of buildings around the city, the tower stands out. From the observation deck of Kyoto Tower you can see the entire city and the view of Kyoto at night is beautiful. It is open until 21:00, so it’s the perfect sightseeing spot for after dinner.
7. Shogunzuka Seiryuden
At the top of the hills of Shoren-in Temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama, is Shogunzuka Seiryuden. It is a fairly new spot, having just opened in 2014. With a space four times larger than the famous stage at Kiyomizu, this spot is not only popular among tourists, but also locals as a date spot. From here you can also see Kyoto Tower lit up as you look down on the city of Kyoto at night.
There are many other spots around Kyoto which can be enjoyed in the daytime and at night. We hope you will have fun during your stay here from the time you wake up until you fall asleep at night. Of course you can take your kids out with you and have a good time as a family, but every now and then isn`t it nice to have a more relaxing evening without kids? If you take a break from the kids for a couple of hours to go out one night, the following day together will be that much more fun. If you would like to go out and enjoy what Kyoto at night has to offer, you can use Kyoto with Kids Babysitting services.