Here are five recommended beer gardens in Kyoto that will be perfect for riding out the hot summer days. Go to one of these places, toast with beer, and enjoy summer in Kyoto!
1. Asahi Beer Garden (Rooftop of Kyoto Takashimaya)
Representing the biggest of its kind in Kyoto, the beer garden on the rooftop of Kyoto Takashimaya is most famous for its all-you-can-drink and all-you-can-eat service with no time limit. The Asahi Beer that you get to drink here is known for being really fresh as it is delivered directly from the Suita Factory in Osaka. And depending on the season, they also hold the World Beer Festa when they offer a different menu, so then you will be able to taste specialty beers from Belgium and Germany. On the buffet-style layout, they have fried chicken, yakisoba (fried noodles), and other staple dishes of Japanese beer gardens, as well as dishes that go well with the beers they offer during the World Beer Festa. And this year, they will be serving one bone-in spare rib per customer (for guests older than elementary school age). The Asahi Beer Garden is recommended to people who want to eat and drink a lot without worrying about the time. Located right next to the Kawaramachi Station of the Hankyu Kyoto Line, its appeal is helped by its great access as you can drop by here on your way home from shopping at Takashimaya.
Operation period in 2016: April 27 (Wed.) – September 30 (Fri.)
Business hours: 5:30 pm (4:30 pm on Sat., Sun. and holidays) – 10:00 pm (last order: 9:30 pm)
Holidays: Closed on irregular days and when it rains
Price: Men: 3,800 JPY, Women: 3,500 JPY, Elementary school children: 2,000 JPY, Children (2-6 years old): 500 JPY
2. Kamogawa Sky BBQ Garden (Yakiniku Tendan – Gion Main Branch)
Situated on a busy district of Kyoto just two minutes away from the Gion-Shijo Station of Keihan Main Line, Kamogawa Sky BBQ Garden boasts of a fantastic location that overlooks Kamogawa River. This beer garden is on the rooftop of the famous yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant Tendan and the subdued tone from the surrounding bamboo fills this place with a mature atmosphere. They even have couple’s seats, where couples cano drink and enjoy the great mood. The bottomless bar has more than 30 types of drinks, including beers like Asahi Super Dry, wines, shochu, and makgeolli (a type of Korean liquor). As for the food, you can choose from three courses, the Tendan BBQ Course, the Tendan Yakiniku Course, and the Samgyeopsal Course that include the rare parts that only yakiniku shops serve. This beer garden is perfect for people who hate the hubbub of a crowd and who just want to relax and enjoy the nightscape.
Operation period in 2016: April 1 (Fri.) – September 30 (Fri.)
Business hours: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm (last order: 8:20 pm)
Holidays: Closed on irregular days and when it rains
Menu: Select from the 3 courses, each with free all-you-can-drink (for 100 minutes) (at least two people required for each course)
Price: Adult: 5,000 JPY, Elementary school children: 2,500 JPY (half portion of BBQ and free drinks), Toddlers: Free of charge (free drinks)
3. Kyoto Hotel Okura Beer Terrace
The Beer Terrace of Kyoto Hotel Okura has an established reputation for the menu that it offers every year. For this year, the beer terrace will be made possible by China Terrace Toh-Lee, so guests will get to enjoy a variety of dishes, centering on Chinese cuisine, together with their beer. The main dishes here start from Chinese plates or American roast beef. For drinks, you can choose from beer, wine, and cocktails. The main event for this year is the all-you-can-drink Kirin Ichiban Shibori Kyoto Zukuri, the limited-release beer that has been brewed using malt from Kameoka. It’s just too good to pass up if you like rare beer. You can get a 500 JPY discount if you buy your ticket to this beer garden in advance. The advance tickets that you buy until June 24 can be used for the entire run of the beer terrace, while the advance tickets that are purchased until July 31 may be used from August 1 through September 30.
Operation period in 2016: June 25 (Sat.) – September 30 (Fri.)
Business hours: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (last order: 8:30 pm), with two-hour time limit
Guests are seated in two shifts on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. 1st batch: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm (last order: 6:30 pm), and 2nd batch: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm (last order: 9:00 pm)
Closed: August 16 (Tues.)
Price: Adult: 4,000 JPY, Guests less than 20 years old but older than elementary school children: 2,200 JPY (Women pay 3,500 JPY every Sunday)
*Photo is for illustration purposes
4. Trattoria COMFOR Beer Garden
Trattoria COMFOR Beer Garden is the beer garden event held in the summer by the fancy Italian restaurant Trattoria COMFOR, which is famous for its terrace seats with a view of Kamogawa River and its resort vibe. Here, the 2 types of courses include charcoal-grilled Japanese black beef and other meat dishes that are the pride of this restaurant, as well as dishes that use vegetables in season, come with all-you-can-drink beer. The bottomless bar is good for only 180 minutes, but you can stay seated for as long as you want. This beer garden is recommended to those who want to enjoy the feel of a beer garden while eating, and to those who wish to relax while drinking. Now aside from the beer garden packages, this restaurant offers various other courses. Drop by this beer garden and enjoy some fancy dinner while marveling at the astounding sight of Kamogawa River in the summer right from the terrace.
Operation period in 2016: May 17 (Tues.) – September 30 (Fri.)
Business hours: 5:00 pm – midnight (last order: 9:30 pm)
Holidays: Closed on Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, then this beer garden will be open for business that day and then close the following Tuesday)
Menu: 4,500 JPY/5,500 JPY courses (with 180-minute all-you-can-drink draft beer)
*You cannot make reservations for parties with fewer than 2 people (reservations accepted up the day before your visit)
5. Kamishichiken Beer Garden
Kamishichiken Kaburenjo is a facility equipped with a beautiful garden, a stage where dances and other events are held, and a teahouse that will give you a taste of Japan’s traditional culture. And here at Kamishichiken Kaburenjo, they hold a unique kind of beer garden that looks like the geisha quarters every summer. It is an area with a rather high threshold as there is the culture of requiring personal invitations to the restaurants here, a common practice by Kyoto's geisha quarters, but this beer garden is open to everybody. Its biggest appeal is the kind of hospitality provided by geisha wearing yukata (summer kimono) and apprentice geisha. Drinking beer while enjoying the view of a Japanese garden that is lit by Japanese paper and bamboo lanterns will surely become a wonderful memory of your trip to Kyoto. This beer garden that you can only see in Japan is a place you should definitely check out.
Operation period in 2016: July 1 (Fri.) – September 5 (Mon.)
Business hours: 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm (last order: 9:30 pm)
Holidays: August 14 (Sun.) – August 16 (Tues.)
Guests below 18 years of age will not be allowed to enter
After your sightseeing tour of the unusually hot Kyoto in the summer, don’t you want to drink some delicious beer at night? This article will surely help you out!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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