Like a page out of a Murakami novel, Kyoto’s Jazz Spot Yamatoya serves up late nights, smoke and whiskey over smooth jazz. With Victorian wallpaper and dark wood furniture, the atmosphere is light-years away from the lanterns, world heritage shrines and temples of this ancient capital. Reopened in 2013, this venue’s history dates back two decades and counting. Open from noon to midnight, this local jazz spot is a few blocks from Heian Shrine and the museum mile, an area mostly deserted by tourists before dusk. Unlike the jazz cafes you find along Pontocho tailored for foreign travelers, drinks are very reasonably priced here.
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