Enjoy the four seasons surrounded by nature at Kibune Hyoue
You can find Kibune Hyoue as you walk along the route up along river Kibune, close to the inner sanctum of the shrine, known as Okunomiya. The restaurant started from the way the previous generation owner of Hyoue, who at the time was the kannushi (religious leader) of Kifune Shrine started offering the worshippers who climbed to the shrine meals made from wild mountain vegetables and river fish.
Kibune Hyoue is famous for their seasonal hot pot dishes, which in spring are made using wild mountain vegetables, and in winter using wild boar, but among foreign visitors the most popular option is their summer kawadoko, where you get to enjoy your food on a river. You can enjoy kawadoko from May to September, and during the hottest part of the summer in Kyoto, in August, the riverside dining platform can be around 5 degrees cooler than it is in downtown. The bamboo ceiling of the kawadoko, which lets in just the right amount of light, is high and makes the dining area feel spacy. It’s nice to just sit back and enjoy the luxurious experience while you listen to the susurration of the river.
On the kawadoko riverside dining platform, you can enjoy such summer classics as kaiseki courses with hamo (daggertooth pike conger) and ayu sweetfish, but it’s also possible to order some of the hot pot dishes. You basically need to make a reservation for Hyoue, and you need to decide what to order at the time of the reservation. The restaurant is very popular during the kawadoko time, so I recommend making your reservation as early as possible. Summertime lunch or dinner on a river in Kibune is a special experience you can only have here, so I recommend making a reservation and heading for Hyoue.
Set meal with ayu sweetfish
/ Lunch: ￥12,000 (+tax) Dinner: ￥13,000 (+tax)
With this kaiseki course, you can enjoy ayu sweetfish both grilled on bamboo leaves and in “hitsumabushi” form. Hitsumabushi is a type of Japanese dish usually made with eel, where you first enjoy the rice and fish as is, then add some condiments to it, and finally, pour some dashi stock on your rice. The kaiseki course contains a hassun platter, sashimi, a simmered dish, ayu grilled on bamboo leaves, food served in a lidded bowl, ayu hitsumabushi, fruit, and for dinner only, suimono clear soup (because of this, the prices for lunch and dinner differ).
*In the picture you can see ayu hitsumabushi.
/ ￥1,600 (Including tax)
You can choose from beer, sake, shochu, wine, champagne, and soft drinks. Drinking sake while listening to the sounds of the river is a special feeling.
You can only enjoy kawadoko river dining from May to September. Kawadoko in Kibune is mainly a popular attraction for lunch, but the atmosphere here at night, with the lanterns lit, is also very elegant.
The Hyoue Café which can be found on the first floor of the main building is also very popular. You can also buy drinks here to go, or you can enjoy them on the river kawadoko-style.
*If the riverside dining area is fully booked, you may not be able to enjoy your drinks on the river.