Kyoto Alleyway Ramble

Visiting famous landmarks and tasting local cuisine are not the only interesting things to do in Kyoto. Exploring the charming alleys and hutongs that are unique to Kyoto is even more fascinating. Walking in these places, you can truly immerse yourself in the local life and discover the charm of the city. It is an indescribable and incredibly beautiful feeling.

Stone-wall path

Ishibei Koji is a traditional street located near Kiyomizu Temple, built during the Taisho era. Here, you can see a serene and quaint atmosphere consisting of cobbled streets and wooden houses, and feel a strong sense of romance and calmness. Formerly, the high-class residences on this street were venues for banquets, but now they are used as rental housing. The front half of Ishibei Koji is lined with beautiful wooden walls, while the back half consists of sloping residential areas that are both discreet and elegant.

The Way of Philosophy

Stone wall alley is a traditional street near Kiyomizu-dera Temple, built in the Taisho era. The scenery, consisting of cobblestone streets and wooden old houses, is tranquil and ancient, exuding a strong romantic atmosphere and peacefulness. In the past, the high-end residential houses on this street were banquet venues, but now they have been converted into rental housing. The first half of the Stone wall alley has beautiful wooden walls on both sides, while the second half is a high-end residential area with a steep slope, hidden and noble.

Yasaka-dori Avenue

The Yasaka-dori is an uphill road that leads to Kiyomizu-dera temple. Although it may appear narrow, it is a long and clean road that exudes an ancient charm. At the end of the road, there is a dark-colored five-story pagoda, the Yasaka Pagoda. It is said that the Yasaka Pagoda was built during the period of Prince Shotoku, 1500 years ago, and is the oldest style of five-story pagoda in Japan. After several fires, the current tower was rebuilt by the imperial general Ashikaga Yoshinori in 1440. Along the way, there are many small shops and food stalls selling various Kyoto-style snacks that are popular among tourists.

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka

Sannenzaka and Ninenzaka are small stone slopes that lead to Kiyomizu-dera temple, and like Kiyomizu-saka, they are historical protected neighborhoods. There are many wooden old houses built on both sides of the slopes, including cake shops, souvenir shops and Kyoto specialty antique porcelain shops. You can sit in a tea house or cafe and enjoy the scene of the bustling shops during the autumn leaves season. You can also stroll along this winding cobbled path, and see the old machiya buildings with their preserved red shell grids and insect cage window styles, feeling their quaint and charming atmosphere.

Hanami kōji

In Gion, Kyoto, there is a street called Hanami-koji. Although "Hanami" means cherry blossom in Japanese, there are no cherry blossoms here. Instead, it is a place of beauty and romance in the ancient city. Since the Edo period, Hanami-koji has been one of the most stylish flower streets in Japan and one of the few places where you can still see geisha performances. There are many high-end traditional restaurants with bamboo fences and red walls on both sides of the street, which specialize in kaiseki cuisine and usually arrange entertainment programs by geisha. In the early morning and evening, Hanami-koji is very peaceful, and you can feel the rich and rustic atmosphere. If you go there earlier in the afternoon or before evening, you can often see geisha or kabuki performers rushing to their appointments wearing kimono and wooden clogs. When night falls, various Japanese-style bars light up red lanterns, making it even more enchanting and alluring in the darkness.


Pontocho is a flower street located between the Kamogawa River and the wide street of Kiyamachi-dori. Despite the name "cho" in the name, it is actually a very narrow street about 550 meters long and approximately 2 meters wide. The street is paved with a checkered pattern of stones that shimmer brightly when wet. The most striking feature of Pontocho is the many restaurants situated along the east side by the river. During the summer, diners can enjoy unique cuisine on traditional covered platforms, called "kawadoko," providing a special ambiance.