Best terraces in Kyoto

Kibune Kawadoko


Kawayuka Kamogawa River

Fresh Breezes on the Banks of the Kamo

When summer comes, so do the kawayuka, terraces on stilts, popping up on he banks of the Kamo River.

The Kamo River is not only the "river of ducks," as its literal translation might indicate, but also that of terraces: as soon as warm weather arrives in May, these open air spaes flourish on stilts along the banks of this river. These pleasant balconies are called kawayuka (or kawadoko if they are located elsewhere), where anyone can enjoy an outdoor dinner, despite the summer heat.


A Long, Traditional History


During the Edo Period (1603 - 1868), tea houses and itinerant vendors used to settle on the river banks, which were dried out from the hot, sunny days. Temporary wooden terraces soon popped up on the riverbeds to make the most of the festivities.

Since then, the custom has continued and these ephemeral platforms, once reserved for traditional cuisine, are now home to restaurants of all kinds.

Kawadoko kibune



From the Middle Kingdom to Edo-Era Japan


At the heart of the Pontocho District, there are many great places to go for kawayuka. To the south as well, on the southern end of Kiyamachi Street, is the terrace restaurant Manzara, recent restored, known for being among the best kawayuka in the city.

North of Kyoto, the villages of Kibune and Takao also offer the kawadoko experience. Here, terraces just a few centimeters from the water, brush up against the river, ensuring visitors a cool and refreshing meal!


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