Have you heard the riverside terrace during summer in Kyoto? Even for many japanese people who do not live in Kyoto, this riverside terrace is a fascinating place and event. The riverside terrace put is place from May 1st to September 30th, so, it will soon be held in the end of this month. It has still been a little humid in japan, but I feel several signs of autumn recently, so this event season reached its final phase…If you have a chance, please visit and enjoy it!
“Kawadoko” at Kifune area in kyoto
“Noryo-yuka” are the platforms that restaurants along the Kamogawa (the Kamo River) put up in the summer, extending themselves out to the river’s edge. Noryou means, “Enjoying the cool evening” (amazing that Japanese has a word for that) and Yuka means “Platform” or “Flooring,” or more specifically in this case, a temporary wooden terrace, a deck. People in Kyoto call them “Noryo-yuka” or simply “yuka”.
The Kamogawa separates city Kyoto from the sublime, quiet Higashiyama (East Mountains) area. Their wooden floors, connected with restaurants, are built over the Kamo River from Nijo-dori St. to Gojo-dori St. in summer (from May 1 to September 30). The custom goes back to the Edo period (1603-1867).
above photos are “Noryo-yuka”
“Kawadoko” are similar platforms along the Kifune area and Takao area, and this Kawadoko has a relatively short history compared with “Noryo-yuka”.
Formerly, Most of the restaurants in Kyoto specialized in the country dishes. However, recently, they have diversified and internationalized; Chinese, Thai and Korean cooking. Now, a lot of first-class restaurants are open, and there are restaurants that we can enter in light-heartedly, too. Incidentally, please take notice Noryo Yuka not open in the daytime except May and September.
below 4photos are “Kawadoko”
History of Noryo-yuka
The riverside of the Kamo River had been an entertainment area for people of Kyoto since Nanboku-cho period (1336-1392). Enjoying the cool breezes of the evening flourished, especially in summer, and many performances were held in the riverbed of the Kamo River where the folding benches called “Shogi” were set up from Sanjo-dori St. to Matsubara-dori St. In the 27th year of Meiji period (1894), the wooden terraces, which some east riverside restaurants had owned, were pulled down due to completing the works of a canal. And Noryo-Yuka was quite abolished for some time due to opening a municipal streetcar because the Sijo-ohashi Bridge was rebuilt across the Kamo River in the last Meiji period.