Things to Do in Kyoto at Night: Advice for Exploring After Dark
When not gazing at the Temple of the Golden Pavilion or clamoring with a hungry crowd over free samples of yatsuhashi at the foot of Kiyomizu-dera, one may ask, what else can be done in Kyoto?
When not gazing at the Temple of the Golden Pavilion or clamoring with a hungry crowd over free samples of yatsuhashi at the foot of Kiyomizu-dera, one may ask, what else can be done in Kyoto? As the old capital of Japan, Kyoto is the focal point of traditional Japanese culture. It is one of the few places in Japan where you can find people wearing yukatas and kimonos.
Days could be spent checking out the temples alone, but nights can be equally if not more satisfying for those who crave for both the traditional and the modern. Here are 8 fun things to do in Kyoto at night:
Club World (World Kyoto)
For your standard night of general debauchery and partying, one of Kyoto’s many night clubs will more than likely suffice. Take Club World for instance, a unique, 3 floored club, planted in the midst of various bars and other nightlife attractions. This seemingly small club has a huge dance floor underground, packed with an endless night of dancing, drinking, and most importantly fun.
Minamiza Kabuki Theatre
For those who enjoy the allure of the nightlife but still yearn for a traditional experience, one of Kyoto’s many theaters may be the place for you. The famous Minamiza Kabuki Theater puts on, as the name would suggest, monthly Kabuki shows, a traditional form of Japanese theater. In Japan, Kabuki actors are equivalent to celebrities. This goes without saying it is a much respected art and you can see how well it has been preserved in this theater.
Tickets can be purchased online at the official website: http://www.kabuki-bito.jp/eng/
Pig & Whistle
Bars are nightlife staples practically anywhere, and Kyoto is no stranger to such establishments. One in particular, Pig & Whistle, is known for its British flair. Pig & Whistle is a charming pub where you can order standard British dishes such as a plate of fish and chips with a draft Guinness beer or another of your choice. Doubling as a sports bar and performance venue, there is scarce a night when something isn’t happening, whether it be the broadcast of a big game or a local band performing a set.
The pub opens at 5:00 pm and closes at 1:00 am on Mondays through Thursdays and Sundays. On Friday and Saturday doors open at 5:00 pm and close at 2:00 am.
If your taste leans on the more avant-garde side of life, UrBANGUILD will satisfy that need. It is a restaurant and bar that serves as a venue for dance performances, DJ sessions, and performance art, to name a few things. It’s the perfect place for someone with eclectic tastes, seeking to have fun in a way they never have before.
For more information on events and scheduling visit the website: http://www.urbanguild.net/
It can be said that no bar in Kyoto is alike. Each has their own unique vibes and Rub-a-Dub has a vibe unlike any other. This international reggae bar will make you believe that you’re actually in Jamaica, especially with the menu offering authentic Jamaican dishes like Jerk chicken. Kicking back to some Bob Marley with a beer or two will have you smiling in no time.
This reggae bar opens at 7:00 pm and closes at 2:00 am, except on Fridays and Saturdays when it closes at 4:00 and 5:00 am respectively.
The Sodoh Higashiyama Kyoto
If casual isn’t your style or you just feel like being classy for one night, this lavish bar called The Sodoh should do the trick. Situated in the Oriental Complex among a beautiful garden, this Italian and Japanese fusion restaurant is sure to amaze. Apart from being a restaurant, The Sodoh is also known for its luxurious cigars, some of which are Cuban and the extensive amount of drinks to choose from. It makes the perfect location for a date night or even just a quiet night with close friends.
On weekdays, the restaurant is open from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and then from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm. On the weekend, the restaurant only opens at 5:30 pm and closes at 11:00 pm.
Kyoto Concert Hall
Speaking of classy places, visiting the Concert Hall in Kyoto is always a good option for an otherwise vacant night. Known for its state of the art facilities and orchestra, Kyoto Concert Hall is the place to be for music lovers of all ages and backgrounds. With its unique, acoustic design, you will be hearing the music for days after.
For information on dates of the performances, visit the website: http://www.kyoto-ongeibun.jp/
Lastly, for those who love theater but are not particularly fond of Kabuki, never fear! Kyoto has yet another venue for the arts. Kyoto Theater primarily showcases performances of a western nature, but it is still top-notch theater nonetheless. Not to mention it is exceedingly less expensive than its Kabuki counterpart. This theater can be found in JR Kyoto Station.
If you want to be in line for the next musical or play, be sure to plan ahead, as these tickets are often reserved far in advance online: http://www.kyoto-gekijo.com/
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