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Enjoy a night on the town! Five Recommended Kyoto Night Spots

The historic and atmospheric city of Kyoto has many night spots that surprisingly few people know about. Here are five popular night spots where you can experience traditional culture, party in a trendy club, or enjoy drinks in a modern Japanese space or a unique setting!

1. Yasaka Hall Gion Corner

Gion Corner is recommended for those who want to take advantage of being in Kyoto to enjoy traditional performing arts. Gion Corner holds performances of seven major forms of traditional Japanese art at either 6:00 pm or 7:00 pm every night (except from December through the second week of March, when performances are only held on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.) Here, you can enjoy the graceful Kyo-mai dance by Gion's maiko (apprentice geisha) dancers and one of the world's oldest forms of music, gagaku court music, in accompaniment of a form of dance called gamai. The performances also include bunraku puppet shows, historic kyogen comedy, kado flower arrangement, sado tea ceremony, and the koto harp that remains popular to this day.

*Photo is for illustration purposes.

1. Yasaka Hall Gion Corner

Yasaka Hall, 570-2 Gionmachi Minamigawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

2. WORLD,KYOTO

This is one of Kyoto's largest and most popular clubs that opened in 2001. In addition to the main floor that can accommodate approximately 1,000 people, there is a second floor where people can relax so there are various ways of enjoying your time there. The club hosts a variety of events every evening to liven up the night. It also features a wide range of music, including house and techno. There are discounts for foreigners at some events, so be sure to check before you go!

*Photo is for illustration purposes.

2. WORLD,KYOTO

B1F Imagium Building, 97 Nishikiyamachi Shijo-agaru Shinmachi, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

3. BAR Atlantis

This is a bar along the Kamo River in the historic Pontocho district with a selection of more than 500 different types of alcohol, including more than 70 types of single malt, cocktails, and wine. It is particularly popular during the summer, between May and September, when a kawadoko (terrace seating over the river to cool off) is set up so you can enjoy a drink while relaxing in the summer breeze to the sound of the river. The recommended drink is their original Pontocho Cooler (940 JPY). It is a cocktail with Cointreau and matcha tea characterized by an elegant but light sweetness befitting the town of Kyoto. There is bar seating so feel free to drop in on your own.

3. BAR Atlantis

161 Shijo Pontocho-agaru Matsumoto-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

4. bar k-ya

This is a bar in a renovated old machiya-style house where you can enjoy a drink in a serene atmosphere. The bar has a very Kyoto atmosphere, with a courtyard with a stone lantern, and a drink here is sure to become an unforgettable memory from your travels. In addition to the bar seating, there is a separate private room recommended for people who want to enjoy their drinks in a quiet place. The bar has a wide selection of rare whiskies, and is also known for its seasonal cocktails.

*Photo is for illustration purposes.

4. bar k-ya

103 Yaoyacho, Rokkaku-dori Gokomachishishi-hairu, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

5. L'Escamoteur Bar

L'escamoteur means a conjurer in old French. The bar was named by the French owner, who was long a practicing magician. There are many playful gimmicks in the bar that give it a fun atmosphere! In addition, all its cocktails, including the popular "smoked cocktail," are outstanding. It has a great word-of-mouth reputation, and is popular among foreigners. Be sure to check it out with your own eyes and palate!

*Photo is for illustration purposes.

5. L'Escamoteur Bar

2F 138-9 Saiseki-dori Shijo-sagaru Saito-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

There is so much more fun to be had in Kyoto beyond its temples, shrines and historic sites. Please take the opportunity to really enjoy your evenings in Kyoto!

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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