You don’t need to go far to experience the full spectrum of Kyoto’s nightlife – in fact, it’s all in Gion, the traditional arts district in the city center. Follow your host down Hanamikoji-dori, the main street passing straight through the center of Gion, lined with bars, izakaya, teahouses, temples, and shrines. Another perfectly preserved slice of ancient Japan, Ponto-chō, lies 10 minutes away, just across the Kamo River to the west of Gion. Partake in a local pastime of snacking on gyoza dumplings riverside, where sunset turns the water a thousand colors, and the gentle glow of paper lanterns takes over from the sun. As the last light fades from the sky, the ethereal mood might be intensified by a glimpse of a bewitching geisha.