Nov. 04, 2018 UPDATE

A nice, refreshing kaiseki lunch over a river in Kyoto

Sharing Kyoto's writers went to get something light, but traditional, and haute cuisine for lunch, so of course it was time to head to Ponto-cho!
Erika[ Sharing Kyoto Staff ]

Kawayuka is such a unique culture of Kyoto. Kawayuka is a riverside summer terrace where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while having dishes. On the sunny day, the wind feels very good and the sound of a wind-bell makes us relaxed. In May and September, Kawayuka opens during the lunch time and we have visited there this time. Generally, Kawadoko is popular in the night time but we also recommend that you visit there during the lunch time if you would like to enjoy the relaxing time!

▼Click here for more details about the Kawayuka


The Kawayuka restaurant we have visited this time is located in Ponto-cho where is in the middle of Kyoto. This town is famous for narrow streets and you may enjoy the traditional Kyoto cuisine (the price is a bit expensive).


You may witness Maiko and Geiko in this town as it is also known as Maiko town. We have also witnessed Maiko this day!

Restaurant entrance

As you can see in this photo, there are many fans displayed with Maiko names on them. Maiko visits restaurants in Ponto-cho and distribute their fans to become known better.

Tatami mat

Inside of the restaurant, tatami mat is laid on the floor which makes the entire space cooler. Along the Kawayuka restaurants, there is Kamo River and you can see people running and taking a walk with their dog. As there are the eaves, the sun light wouldn’t directly shine on the guests. However, since there is no air conditioner, it may be a bit hot in the sunny day.


On this day, it was sunny and windy without any cloud, so we could clearly hear the wind-bell. The sound of the wind-bell is refreshing and we feel the coming of summer.

Cute bunny

The figure in the middle looks as if a bunny is pounding rice cake. The both ends look like birds.

Kyoto local beer

This is a Kyoto local beer. It was great to have a Kyoto local beer on the sunny day in Kawayuka! We highly recommend that you try it there!

Lunch menus are a bit expensive but it is worth it as you will surely enjoy the traditional Kyoto cuisine. This time, we enjoyed Kyoto cuisine course with 9 dishes.

Sukui Tofu

This is an appetizer called Sukui Tofu. Since this Tofu includes more liquid than regular tofu, it tastes very creamy like a yogurt. Interesting thing is that the soy sauce is a jelly and it matches pretty well with the cold Tofu. The container was particularly gorgeous as if it was a glass sculpture.


It was a very first time for me to taste Sashimi, sliced raw fish, with a salt but it was surprisingly tasty! You can choose your favorite salts from among three kinds.

Warm steamed bun

It is a warm steamed bun and has a chewy texture. Inside of the steamed bun, there are many cut edible wide vegetables and soup stock makes it even tastier.


Saikyo-yaki is a Kyoto style grilled fish. White fish and miso go well and we recommend it as this is a traditional Japanese dish!

Vinegared dish with a red snapper

This is a vinegared dish with a red snapper. It is not too sour and it refreshed our mouth.

Rice, miso soup and Japanese horseradish boiled in soy sauce

These are rice, miso soup and Japanese horseradish boiled in soy sauce. Although the Japanese horseradish is a bit hot, it is tasty with a strong flavor. In Japan, there are mainly three kinds of miso which are red, white and mixed miso. Each of them has different flavors and this miso soup was made with red miso which is saltier. It may be nice to find your favorite miso while staying in Japan!


Warabimochi is a bracken-starch dumpling and they are seasoned with soybean and Matcha, the powdered green tea. They were cold and tasty as they weren’t too sweet.

Kawayuka from tha outside

In the beginning of May, many restaurants open their summer terrace along the river. This is what is called Kawayuka and is one of the popular cultures of Kyoto. We have visited Kawayuka in lunch time but please visit during the dinner time to enjoy different atmosphere.

A comment from the staff
It was the first time for me to visit Kawayuka during the lunch time. Fortunately, it was a sunny and windy day, so the fresh breeze made us feel relaxed and refreshed. Delicious Kyoto cuisine while enjoying the Kamo River was spectacular. Please visit the lunch time (only in May and September) if you have a chance!

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