Have you ever experienced the summer in Kyoto? It is terribly hot and humid so much so that you may even find it hard to breathe. Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka) is a place to cool off and escape from the summer heat. Usually, you can see these along rivers and Kyoto has a lot of beautiful rivers with amazing scenery. Here are 3 ideas of Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka) in Kyoto that you should check out.
This Kawadoko is a little bit away from the city of Kyoto but has a lot of nature and you really get a sense that you are away from the city heat. Especially when the urban area of Kyoto is extremely hot, this Kibune Kawadoko makes it about 10 degrees celsius cooler. Even on the hottest of summer days, the Kibune area will be around a comfortable 23 – 24 degrees celsius.
What makes this Kibune Kawadoko unique is its distance from the river. It is so close that if you reach out your arm, you can touch the river. You might be able to put your feet in the river if you’d like. This allows you to really feel the fresh and cool breeze from the river. The combination of nature, coolness, and calmness will really help you to relax.
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Address: 50 Kuramakibunecho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto
Access: About 30 min walk from Kibuneguchi Station
Website: Kibunesou (Japanese)
You might have heard of this famous river. This is the iconic river of Kyoto. There are almost 100 different restaurants along this river. There are a lot of variety of food offerings like Japanese, Italian, French, Chinese and more. If you are not ready for the an actual meal yet, there are cafes too. In the Kamogawa area, there are a lot of buildings that are more than 100 years old, although some have been remodeled.
Basically, almost all the restaurant along this river have some sort of terrace area that over looks the river outside. You can enjoy Kamogawa Noryo-yuka from May until September and many of them are open during the day time as well as the evening time. However, please keep it in mind that day time opening is only available in May and September. (They will be closed in June and July to prevent food poisoning from the heat.) Kamogawa is very accessible and it is walking distance from the urban area of Kyoto. You can enjoy sightseeing or shopping in the day time and come here to enjoy Noryo-yuka as well as feel the history of Kyoto in the evening.
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Kamogawa Noryo-yuka Terraces
Address: Sanjo, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto
Access: A few min walk from Gion-Shijo or Sanjo Station
Website: Kamogawa Noryo-yuka
This is another Kawadoko away from the urban area of Kyoto, about an hour outside of the city center. Takao is a popular place to visit in autumn to see the leaves changing color. However, summer is another amazing season to come here. This place is absolutely breath taking. This place will make you feel like you stepped into a movie. This Kawadoko is along the Kiyotaki river and you can enjoy the fresh ayu (sweetfish) there. Also if you are lucky, you might be able to see a special type of firefly that is a protected species during mid June till mid July. It is about 3 – 5 degrees celsius cooler compared to the city.
This Kawadoko has roofs so you don’t have to worry about any sudden downpours and can enjoy the sound of the river while enjoying delicious food. This place will offer more than you can expect and I guarantee you will have a great relaxing day away from the city.
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Address: 40 Umegahata Tonohatacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 15 min taxi ride from Hanazono Station (JR Sagano line)
Website: Takao Kinsuitei
Things to be aware of:
*Reservation: Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka) is really popular and gets crowded especially in the evening. If the seats are available, you may be able to get a seat right away. However, if not, you might have to wait for a long time. If possible I highly recommend you make a reservation in advance.
*Dress: Ususally, they don’t have any dress code. But Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka) is a place where you can feel the breeze from a river and cool off, so you might actually feel a bit chilly. In fact, the temperature of Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka) is at least 3-5 degrees celsius cooler compared to the urban area. I highly suggest you bring a light jacket especially if you are going at night.
*Weather: When raining, a lot of restaurants will close their Kawadoko (Noryo-yuka). In that case, you will be seated inside the restaurant.
Kawadok (Noryo-yuka) is one of the Japanese (especially in Kyoto) traditional way to get away from the summer heat. At Kawadoko, you can enjoy meals, drinks, scenery, breeze, and the history of Kyoto. Kyoto has a lot to offer including food, shopping, temples, and so much more. But Kawadoko is exclusive to the summer and one of the symbols of summer in Kyoto. If you are going to be in Kyoto in this summer, I highly suggest you give this a shot. You won’t regret it.