Nishiki Market in Kyoto (1/4)
Nishiki Market in Kyoto (2/4)
Ponto-cho dori in Kyoto (3/4)
Ponto-cho in Kyoto (4/4)


The traditional taste and nighlife of Kyoto


Nikishi Market

Free 9:00 - 17:00

Nishiki is Kyoto's largest and most popular traditional food market, known popularly as "Kyoto's Pantry". It is located in a narrow, covered and usually packed up lane, just above and parallel to Shijo avenue, heading west from Teramachi street. The market has a length of around six blocks and features over 120 stalls, most of which are opened daily except for Wednesdays.

Nishiki has a history of several centuries and, even if a few souvenir shops have moved in, it retains the atmosphere of a traditional shopping street. Most of the shops are specialized in fresh, local and seasonal food, such as dried seafood, fresh vegetables, Japanese pickles, Japanese sweets or fish. Some stalls also offer free samples or takeaway food, typically skewers of meat or fish, and there are even a few small restaurants in the market. Other cuisine related goods, such as knives, can also be found in Nishiki.

Ponto-cho Street

Free All day

Ponto-cho is a long, narrow and pedestrian lane which runs parallel to the west bank of the Kamogawa river and north from Shijo avenue, famous for its well preserved traditional architecture and its long established nightlife. It is lined with dozens of restaurants, pubs and teahouses (usually only open in evenings) set in old wooden houses and decorated with paper lanterns, which retain a unique and historic atmosphere.

Most of the restaurants located on the riverside open large balconies during the warmer months (May to October), where customers can dine enjoying the breeze and views of the Kamogawa river. Prices however can be quite steep, so it is recommended to check the menu prices before sitting down.While bigger restaurants tend to have English menus, there's a quite a number of establishments in Pontocho and the surrounding alleys which are exclusively oriented to Japanese costumers.

Together with Gion, Pontocho is one of the places in Kyoto where one may run into a geisha, or geiko in Kyoto dialect, or maiko, an apprentice geisha, during evenings.


Kawaramachi Station
Hankyu Line

Karasuma Station
Hankyu Line

Shijo Station
Karasuma Line


Shijo and Karasuma stations are located within a short walk from Nishiki's west entrance, whereas Ponto-cho is located in a short walk from the east entrance of the market. On the other hand, Kawaramachi station is located between the east entrance of Nishiki and Ponto-cho.

Both the Nishiki market and Ponto-cho street are best explored on foot.