pontocho is a narrow alley known for its geisha houses. i didn’t see any geisha, but i did see lots of restaurants and tourists. i found the area visually charming because of the multitude of lanterns and illuminated signs, window decor, and welcoming spaces. the people were also very friendly, despite the many tourists arguing loudly about where to eat. i was glad to have eaten udon at my favorite noodle place before we arrived.