Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka – A Summer Tradition of Cool Riverside Dining in Kyoto
The River Terraces of Kyoto's Kamo River: Video Introduction
This video, titled "Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka & Ponto-cho｜Summer in Kyoto" (鴨川納涼床と先斗町 京都の夏), was uploaded by "K Japan Traveler." Summer in Kyoto brings with it the Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka, a relaxing riverside dining experience. For a limited time, visitors can enjoy traditional Kyoto cuisine on the riverbank in the quaint Ponto-cho area, where if you're lucky, you can also encounter maiko. In the video, you can see Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka from Shijo Ohashi Bridge in the evening and at night, as well as the stores in Ponto-cho. Be sure to check it out.
The History of the Terraces of Kyoto's Kamo River
Photo：Kamo River terraces, Kyoto
Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka is one of the most popular summer traditions in Kyoto. While the terraces in Kibune are called "kawadoko," the terraces on the Kamo River are called "nouryou-yuka."
The wooden platforms (eating and drinking spaces) on the right bank of the Kamo River between Nijo Ohashi Bridge and Gojo Ohashi Bridge are called "kamogawa nouryou-yuka," and each establishment offers special courses for a limited time.
The history of kamogawa nouryou-yuka dates back to the reign of Toyotomi Hideyoshi after a war. The Kamo River was improved by replacing Sanjo Ohashi and Gojo Ohashi Bridge, and the area became crowded with peddlers. Later, in the Edo period (1603-1868 A.D.), many teahouses were built along the Kamo River.
It is said that the first teahouses were built along the Kamo River, where wealthy merchants laid out benches with tables to entertain their guests who came from distant places so that they could enjoy the cool of the evening.
Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka 2022
Photo：Kamo River terraces, Kyoto
Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka is associated with summer, but it is held beginning in May each year.
In 2022, it's scheduled to be held from May 1, 2022 to October 31, 2022. However, restaurant hours and the dates can vary by restaurant, so we recommend that you contact restaurants directly for more information.
On the below websites, stores are introduced by area, such as the upper Kiyamachi Street area (Nijo Dori - Sanjo Dori), lower Kiyamachi Street area (Shijo Dori - Gojo Dori), Ponto-cho area, and Nishi-Ishigaki area, and you can check each store's opening hours, prices, and whether reservations are required by clicking the store you are interested in.
Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka – Reservations, Meals, and More!
Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka is a limited-time-only event that is very popular among both local Kyotoites and tourists. Advance reservations are recommended when visiting the river terraces. When making a reservation, be sure to let them know that you would like a terrace "yuka" seat. Below, we'll introduce some recommended restaurants when visiting the river terraces.
Chimoto is a long-established restaurant boasting fine Kyoto cuisine that has been loved by many writers and artists since its inception. This restaurant is recommended for those looking to enjoy the river terraces with a little luxury. Evening courses start at ¥19030 (~$140 USD).
Renovated from two 150-year-old teahouses, the restaurant's interior is like a maze. You can enjoy authentic Kyoto-style kaiseki cuisine and seasonal ingredients, such as conger eel. The Kawadoko Courses start at ¥7,000 (~$51 USD).
This ryokan, with its majestic karahafu entrance evokes a sense of history. The nouryou-yuka (river terrace) can accommodate up to 200 people. The kawadoko course, which includes conger eel hot pot called "suzumi-ryori," starts at ¥8,500 (~$62 USD).
A Casual Way to Enjoy Kyoto's Cool River Terraces! 3 Recommended Cafes and Italian Restaurants
For those who want to enjoy Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka a bit more casually and without breaking the bank, here are some cafes and Italian restaurants you can enjoy.
●Ushi no Hone
A popular restaurant serving original Japanese cuisine and beef stew. The Nouryou-Yuka courses start at ¥6,000 (~$44 USD).
A riverside bistro where you can enjoy confit a regional dish of southwestern France and handmade pasta. The kawadoko lunch course served on the Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka is ¥2,800 (~$21 USD).
●BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
How about some Italian gelato while cooling off on the river? Gelato is made daily using ingredients imported straight from Italy. There's tons of photogenic gelato for any instagrammers out there as well!
●Salon de Royal Kyoto
Chocolate bonbons are the main attraction at this café, but macaroons, petit gâteau, and a variety of other desserts are also available.
Access to Kyoto's Cool River Terraces
Photo：A road sign
The nearest station to Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka is Kawaramachi via the Hankyu Line. From the station, it is only a few minutes' walk to the entrance of Shijo Ponto-cho.
From Kyoto Station, transfer at Shijo station on the subway Karasuma Line and get off at Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu Line.
If using a city bus, the nearest stops are "Kawaramachi-Gojo," "Shijo-Kawaramachi," and "Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae." Be sure to check the location of the restaurant and get off at the nearest stop.
Summary of Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka, a Summer Tradition of Cool River Terraces in Kyoto
You can find couples sitting along the banks of the Kamo River as seen from the Shijo Ohashi Bridge, regardless of the season.
The summer nights along the Kamo River are lit up by the lights of the river terraces, creating a fantastic scene.
[Video] 2:02 - Terraces on the Kamo River at Night
The view from the river terraces is simply wonderful and has its own unique charm.
In the hot summer of Kyoto, you can enjoy traditional Kyoto cuisine while enjoying the breeze and the gentle murmur of the Kamo River. It is a very relaxing and even romantic experience. Consider dropping by Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka when visiting Kyoto in the summer.
【Official Website】Kyoto Kamogawa Nouryou-Yuka