Kyoto’s summer is tough. During the day it reaches 35 C (95F).
And it’s very HUMID. Therefore, it is very important to carry a bottle of water while walking outside.
Fortunately, there are many vending machines where 10 to 20 different kinds of drinks are available (120 – 150 yen).
That being said, there are a couple of refreshing, icy-cold foods that actually taste great during this season.
Eating cold and refreshing food inside a properly air-conditioned room might be needed for those who will visit Kyoto during summer. And, of course, it is not only helpful (for the body) but also fun.
Karafuneya is famous for its gigantic parfait display. Don’t worry though. There are smaller sized parfaits and normal foods such as pasta as well. Be prepared to spend some time choosing, since there are about two hundred different parfaits available. The waffle chocolate parfait is the most popular item. For 210 yen, coffee, earl gray tea or orange juice can be ordered as a set. By the way, Karafuneya is a cafe, so feel free to order just cold/hot drinks.
Open Hours: 9:00 – AM 1:00 (Last Order: 0:15)
Tsujiri is an established green tea store, which also runs traditional style cafes. Like Karafuneya, parfaits is the most popular item here. The parfaits here are, however, mainly green tea flavors, because of their original business. Note that Tsujiri is one of the most popular places to enjoy cold foods in Kyoto, especially the flagship location in Gion District is literally always busy. A 20 minute wait is normal here. For those who have no strong desire to eat at this location, go to their branch in the Isetan department store (6F) which connects to JR Kyoto Station (Kyoto Tower side).
Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (weekdays) 10:00 – 21:00 (holidays & weekends) *Last Order : 30 minutes before closing time.
Bunnosuke is a long-established tea cafe located in the Higashiyama Area (near Kodaiji Temple). Bunnosuke provides a variety of Japanese sweets and they also start serving shaved ice from April 27th, which is much earlier than other stores. Bunnosuke’s shaved ice is very unique. Inside the ice, there are a couple of sweet dumplings called “warabimochi”, and on top, toasted soybean flower flavored (kinako) ice cream adds another layer.
Open Hours: 10:30 – 17:30
Closed on: Irregular
Kyohayashiya is also a green store which started business in 1753. They have many healthy, tasty and good-looing green tea desserts including Matcha parfait and shaved ice. Shinyoku parfait which contains Matcha (powered green tea) ice cream, Matcha sweet dumplings, soy milk pudding, black sesame ice cream, Matcha cream and more is something worth trying. In addition, this store is located right next to Kamogawa river, so some lucky customers can enjoy a beautiful view as well.
Open Hours: 11:30 – 21:30 (Last Order: 21:00)
Closed on: Irregular
For more fun and useful information, which will make your Kyoto trip more memorable, exciting and stress-free, please check our Kyoto e-Guidebook.