From May 1st to the end of September, Kyoto will celebrate summer with “Kawadoko”.
Kawadoko are the special floors provided by restaurants nearby rivers. These floors are above the rivers, which makes for better views and breezes.
These Kawadoko are provided in two locations, Kamogawa river and Kibune river.
They are very different, so go to both or choose the one that sounds better.
1. Kawadoko at Kamogawa
When Kawadoko is mentioned, most Japanese people imagine the kawadoko at Kamogawa. Customers can view the beautiful Kamogawa river and mountains on the east side. It’s in the city area, so accessing to the restaurants is quiet easy. Also, there are more choices than at Kibune river. Even Starbucks at Sanjo Ohashi Bridge provides Kawadoko (note that it will be very busy). Kawadoko on Kamogawa river is very popular, so ask the hotel staff and make a reservation. In general, they are expensive (3000 yen – 15000 yen), but during May and September, some restaurants provide lunch, whose prices should be more reasonable (about 2000 yen). Note that many restaurants have an extra charge for Kawadoko tables (500 – 1000 yen).
2. Kawadoko at Kibunegawa
Kawadoko at Kibunegawa river is very different from that at Kamogawa river. Kibunegawa river is narrower but cleaner due to its location (deep inside of the mountains). Although it takes time and effort to get there, the dining experience on the Kawadoko in Kibunegawa river is exceptional. To get to this area, first take the Eizan Line from Demachi Yanagi Station (Keihan) then go to Kibuneguchi Station (420 yen). Walk to Kifune Shrine or take a bus (Kyoto Bus 33) and get off at Kifune (160 yen) bound for Kifune. When not planning to stay the night there, go for lunch (3000 – 8000 yen).
For more fun and useful information which will make your Kyoto trip more memorable, exciting and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.