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Kyoto Outdoor Riverside Dining
A delightful Kyoto summer experience!
Summer is traditionally the month when eating and drinking places along the banks of the Kamo River erect large wooden platforms, called yuka. If you're in Kyoto this month, don't miss this often exotic and always relaxing experience.
Kyoto summers are said to be the hottest and most humid in all of Japan. This has a lot to do with the fact that the city is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which makes it hard for the humidity to escape. This is why outdoor yuka dining is so popular and so perfectly suited to relaxing at the end of a long, hot summer day.
Yuka extend east (facing the Kamo River) from many downtown restaurants and make for an unforgettable location for a relaxing, fine dinner. These open-air dining areas are unique to Kyoto and, though they have a reputation for being very expensive, you'll be pleasantly surprised at how reasonable the prices can be. In addition to the beautiful views over the river and the eastern skyline and the excellent food, the lively, open setting makes for good company.
Yuka first appeared in the late 16th century along the Kamo River in the area around Gojo which is about one kilometer or so south of where most of them are today. In those days these outdoor eateries were nothing more than wooden benches placed along the side of and sometimes in the Kamo River. Wealthy people would often set up their own high-class, table-benches along the river to entertain important visitors. Here, people brought their own food and drink which they enjoyed while sitting near the water, with some of the lower classes probably going so far as to dip their bare feet in the river. After improvements were made to the Kamo River, food stalls started operating along the riverbank.
Over time, as the popularity of yuka grew, the structures became more elaborate, eventually assuming their present-day form. Walk along the river and pick the place you'd like to spend a couple of hours eating and enjoying yourself at like an emperor, then head up onto the street and join the scene. Here's just a little practical advice to make sure everything goes well. Today, there are about 90 yuka set up along the downtown area of the river. Each of Kyoto's active yuka restaurants serves a slightly different form of cuisine. Most specialize in traditional Kyoto cuisine, some serve ethic food, and others Western fare. Enjoying a fine meal on one of these unique dining platforms will surely be the evening, summer highlight of your time in Kyoto, the heart of traditional Japan. If in doubt, have your concierge call to set up a reservation.
Walk into our narrow roji back lane by the Kamo River
and discover a perfect hideaway
Bacon & vegetable sandwich: 600 yen
Chicken curry & rice: 800 yen
Cake set: 800 yen
Draft beer (glass): 600 yen
Wine (glass): 600 yen
A selection of top quality French THE O DOR teas: from 500 yen
On the east side of Kiyamachi, north of Oike
The Only Yuka Outdoor Riverside Yakiniku Restaurant
Yakiniku HIRO Kiyamachi
Experience the wonders of our top-quality, super-tender Japanese beef in a classic, old Japanese building
Special Yuka Course: from 5,250 yen
Sashimi, chilled beef salad, top quality loin & rib, grilled seasonal seafood & vegetables, etc.
On the east side of Kiyamachi, north of Sanjo
Open: 17:00-24-00 (L.O.23:00) *Yuka dining until 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)