Oct. 29, 2019 UPDATE
Kawadoko in Kyoto: an outstanding summer dining experience
Traditional and Innovative Kawayuka in Kamogawa area
Kawayuka is an intrinsic part of summer life in Kyoto. Especially, those along the Kamogawa River are packed with people trying to fully enjoy this culture. Since Kawayuka is located in the center of the city, it’s accessible even though you aren’t familiar with Kyoto. It’s great to dine out at the Kawayuka terraces, but it’ll be awesome to take a riverside walk admiring the view of the gentle lighting of the outside terraces. Kawayuka tradition has been preserved and protected by locals for hundreds of years. There are long-established restaurants serving excellent Japanese cuisine, but there we have many restaurants for international cuisine like French, Italian, Thai and Indian as well. People in Kyoto have maintained this unique tradition but at the same time, they’re trying to accept new challenges. The point is that this is the place you could observe both traditions and innovations which make Kawayuka more attractive and enjoyable. In the Kamogawa River area, Kawayuka terraces are set up from Nijo to Gojyo and divided by four smaller areas― Kamikiyamachi area, Pontocho area, Saiseki area, and Shimokiyamachi area. Each division has must-visit restaurants you can enjoy elaborate dishes and great views.
A local specialty of south-east France, confit of chicken, is one of their most popular items. They serve a lunch course, so it’s nice to dine at their Kawayuka under the sunlight.
But more enjoyable, it’s a quite experience to dine out at the time around sunset. The sky and the Kamogawa River glow red in the sunset with a soft summer breeze. Their savory dishes and wine are at reasonable prices, so it’s also good for those who haven’t tried Kawayuka terraces.
ToriyasaToriyasa is in the Shimokiyamachi area and their Kawayuka terrace has been the summer feature for more than 130 years. The 230-year-old building itself is registered as Registered Tangible Cultural Properties and gives a dignified impression.
Their famous Mizutaki using white chicken broth boiled for three days has been beloved by Japanese historic figures such as Ryoma Sakamoto. Here you can dine out at their Kawayuka for lunch, but I would recommend dining after the sun comes down.
The lights leaking from the windows of the building reflect the Kawayuka terrace, which makes it more authentic and elegant. If you’d like to experience so-called Japanese authentic cuisine and atmosphere, Toriyasa is a perfect spot.
Kamogawa riverside Yuka is where you can enjoy several types of cuisines and different styles. Because of the location, it’s easy to visit. Some restaurants are also open at lunchtime, so you can dine at Yuka depending on your trip schedule. Kawayuka is available during the limited period (usually from May to September), so why wouldn’t you add Kawayuka dining on your wish-list in Kyoto?