Sightseeing News

Natural Cool in Kyoto! Traditional Open-air Restaurants above Rivers

   The “kawayuka” or “kawadoko” (both literally mean “floor above a river”) is an open-air restaurant installed just above a river. During summer in Kyoto, a city known for its heat and humidity, such tasteful outdoor restaurants can be seen standing in a row along the riverside, where people refresh and cool themselves.

   The Kamogawa River (in the area around the Shijo-ohashi Bridge) and the Kibune River (along the upper reaches of the Kamogawa River) are particularly famous for these restaurants. 

   Interestingly, the restaurants on the Kamogawa River are called “kawayuka” and those on the Kibune River are called “kawadoko.” Kawayuka include not only Japanese-style restaurants, but also French, Chinese and other various styles of restaurant, while kawadoko are mostly traditional Japanese-style luxury restaurants that serve mainly freshwater fish cuisine. The Kibune area (where the Kibune River is located) is particularly known for its below-average temperatures (usually around 10 degrees Celsius lower), which are attributable its location between hills some 200 meters above sea level, where visitors can enjoy a natural coolness quite different from downtown Kyoto.

   In addition, kawadoko restaurant floors, unlike their kawayuka counterparts, are generally very close to the surface of the river itself, enabling guests to directly experience the coolness of river waters and breezes. The close-up sounds of the mountain stream are part of the dining ambience.
[Kifune Shrine – Stop by at this shrine when visiting the Kibune area!]
Kifune Shrine is sacred to the God of Water, a deity worshipped mainly by water-using businesses, such as sake breweries, dyeing & textile businesses and agriculture. Each year on July 8 the Kifune Water Festival is held, in which people thank the God of Water for the grace of water supply for the past year. The festival attracts many visitors. This shrine is also well known for being sacred to the deity of marriage or matchmaking.
*Kawayuka Restaurants along the Kamo River
A few minute walk from Keihan Railway Gion-Shijo Station
*Kawadoko Restaurants in Kibune Area
・About 27 minutes from Eizan Railway Demachiyanagi Station and about 20 minutes walk from Kibune-guchi Station to restaurants

・About 15 minutes by taxi from Kyoto City Subway Kitayama Station or Kokusai Kaikan Station
Kawayuka restaurants along Kamo River
Kawadoko Retaurants in Kibune area
Kibune Shrine
Contact : Kyoto City Tourism Association
Related Website(s) Kibune Tourism Association
Kibune Shrine