There's been nightlife on Pontocho street since 712. The first establishments in the area featured saburuko (serving girls) who entertained clients. With time the saburuko evolved into the Geisha.
There are still Geisha establishments on the street today. They entertain exclusive clientele (invitation only).
Each spring and autumn the Geisha and Maiko of Pontocho perform a tradition dance (Kamogawa-odori). Tickets are available to the public.
Pontocho runs between Sanjo Street and Shijo Street along the Kamogawa river. It's packed with mid-priced and expensive restaurants, bars, karaoke, hostess clubs and Geisha tea houses.
The mysterious alleys along the street have more bars, restaurants and private member clubs.
Many restaurants and bars in the area are foreigner-friendly. Some have English menus.