Top Popularity in the Summer! Six Recommended Noryo-doko on Kamo River

Noryo-doko, otherwise known as kawadoko, are a summer specialty in Kyoto. They offer the opportunity to eat tasty food prepared by skilled chefs while enjoying the cool river breeze and beautiful nightlights. It's an experience you won't want to miss. There are more and more noryo-doko with table seating, so you can drop by casually. <*The information is from KansaiWalker (issued July 4, 2017)>

What is a Noryo-doko?

Noryo-doko, otherwise known as kawadoko, are seating areas that restaurants and tea shops along Kamo River between Kiyamachi Nijo and Gojo open up during the summer. They are available until Saturday, September 30. During July and August, they are open during the evening only, and in September, they open up in the day as well.

You can only see these vibrant crowds between early summer and late summer, when the noryo-doko are out. This is the time to experience seasonal cuisine and the cool of the noryo-doko.

The Noryo-doko With a View of Sanjo Ohashi is Liberating!

Pontocho Hyakuren is an izakaya restaurant produced by Takakuraya, a pickles shop in Nishiki Market. The regular menu items can be ordered on the noryo-doko. Try the plate of its signature Kyo-tsukemono pickles, have a little drink with Iberico pork and conger eel and fill yourself up with the Spicy Cow Offal Pot (1,382 JPY/person). There is a selection of items you can enjoy whomever you are with.

It is to the south of Pontocho Kaburenjo Theater in a brick building that complements the greenery. The river breeze that comes over Kamo River is pleasing and you can enjoy the cool both through sight and feel.

Grilled Iberico Pork "Selected" (front left, 1,274 JPY), Nukazuke Pickles, Kyoto-style Japanese Pickles Plate (middle left, 734 JPY each), Yu Tofu (middle right, 1,058 JPY/pp; photo is for two), Boiled Conger Eel (front right, 1,058 JPY).

The seating is at tables so you can go in a yukata without worrying about it getting disheveled.

<Phone: 075-255-4755; Hours: 5 pm - 11 pm (last order 10:15 pm); Holidays: None; Capacity: 40; Parking: None; Access: 3 minutes on foot from Keihan Sanjo Station or 5 minutes on foot from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station; Budget: 4,500 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: None, but 324 JPY for appetizer; Reservations: Accepted (recommended) *Reservations must be made two days or more in advance if you wish to order courses (4,298 JPY/pp and up); Noryo-doko open till: September 30>

Pontocho Hyakuren

Emerald Kaikan 1F, Pontocho-dori Sanjo-sagaru Hashishita-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Premium Kaiseki Courses with Local Ingredients Including Kyo Vegetables, Namafu, Yuba and Japanese Black Beef

Pontocho Houshoan is a restaurant that serves creative Kyoto-style cuisine using carefully selected ingredients from Kyoto such as Kyo vegetables and Japanese Black wagyu beef. It offers Kyo Kaiseki courses (seating charges inclusive), as well as a la carte items that are unique to Kyoto such as namafu seitan and yuba tofu skin, so you can enjoy a meal in whichever way that is suited to you.

Noryo-doko Kyo Kaiseki Course (5,940 JPY, includes seating fee). A luxurious 9-course meal including appetizer, sashimi of fresh fish, simmered Kyo vegetables, and Japanese Black wagyu beef cooked on ceramic plates. (Minimum order of two; time limited to 120 minutes)

Combination Plate of Seasonal Appetizers (2,160 JPY). This is a plate of seasonal Kyo vegetables, yuba, and conger eel. It goes well not only with sake, but also with wine.

Namafu Dengaku Miso-yaki (918 JPY). The sweet miso goes perfectly with the chewy namafu. It is great with sake.

The noryo-doko where you can enjoy a meal with a view of Kamo River and Minami-za Theater has 30 seats.

<Phone: 075-255-2635; Hours: 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm (last order at 10:30 pm); Holidays: Monday; Capacity: 20; Parking: None; Access: 3 minutes on foot from Hankyu Kawaramachi Station and Gion Shijo Station; Budget: 6,000 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: 1,080 JPY; Reservations: Courses must be ordered by 10:00 pm the previous night>

Pontocho Houshoan

Shiko Kaikan 1F Pontocho Shijo-agaru Nabeya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Enjoy Kaiseki Cuisine in an Elegant Hidden Noryo-doko with a Quintessentially Kyoto Feel and Cool Breeze

At Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen, which has the Takasegawa Genryu Teien, a Japanese garden at the former residence of the business tycoon, Suminokura Ryoi, you can enjoy a meal surrounded by the sounds of Kamo River and with a view of Higashiyama. There is a selection of five courses starting at 5,940 JPY on the Noryo-doko, which is a fabulous location to enjoy a feeling of exceptional luxury.

Hozuki (5,940 JPY, incl. tax). Includes 7 items such as appetizer, sashimi, chilled winter melon, and salt grilled ayu sweetfish. The kawadoko is open from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm (last order). Bottomless drinks available (7,500 JPY, incl. tax).

Home-brewed Refined Sake Ganko Ittetsu Jyunmai Daiginjo (left - 300ml, 1,620 JPY; right - 720ml, 3,456 JPY)

This is the northernmost kawadoko and has a view of Nijo Ohashi to the left. There are 60 seats.

<Phone: 075-223-3456; Hours: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm (last order 9:30 pm); Holidays: None; Pricing: 10% service charge; Capacity: 300; Parking: None; Access: 4 minutes on foot from Kyoto Shiyakushomae Station on the Subway; Budget: 7,000 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: None; Reservations: Recommended>

Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen

484-6 Kiyamachi-dori Nijo-sagaru Higashiikesu-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Yakiniku in a Luxurious Noryo-doko with a View of the Higashiyama Mountains

Hiro is the only restaurant with a Noryo-doko on Kamo River where you can enjoy yakiniku grilled meat. There are three courses offered only on the kawadoko: the Aoi Course, Kamogawa Course (6,480 JPY), and Heian Course (7,560 JPY). They are special courses full of wagyu beef and seasonal vegetables that are all carefully selected by the head chef.

Noryo-doko Course (Aoi) (5,400 JPY). Includes appetizers, "toko bento," grilled items such as grilled shabu shabu wrapped in Kujo scallions and the daily dessert (order minimum of 2 people; the image is for illustrative purposes only).

Thinly sliced kalbi (950 JPY, the photo is a serving for 2)

There are about 42 seats in the Noryo-doko, which has a view of Sanjo Ohashi. The yakiniku enjoyed in this liberating space tastes particularly good (5:00 pm - 10:30 pm last order).

<Phone: 075-213-5000; Hours: 5:00 pm - 12:00 am (last order 11:00 pm); Holidays: None; Capacity: 170; Parking: None; Access: 3 minutes on foot from Kyoto Shiyakushomae Station on the Subway; Budget: 6,000 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: None; Reservations: Recommended>

Hiro Kiyamachi Branch

527 Kiyamachi-dori Sanjo-agaru Kamiosaka-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

A Joint Performance of Edo-style Unagi and Kyoto Cuisine

Izumoya is a famous restaurant of eel and Kyoto-style cuisine that was established in 1916. It's specialty grilled unagi eel is made with domestic unagi and is grilled in the Edo style with a secret sauce that has been handed down since the restaurant opened. On the noryo-doko, three kaiseki courses are available, each including Kyoto-style cuisine with carefully selected vegetables and fresh fish and a mini unagi bowl.

The noryo-doko kaiseki course Matsu (6,480 JPY). This is a 10-course menu with a mini unagi bowl served at the end (the photo is for illustrative purposes only).

Hamo-otoshi (boiled and cooled conger eel eaten with sauce) (1,296 JPY). This is a summer specialty. It is a dish that is refreshing to look at with white meat that opens up like a flower.

There are 120 seats in the noryo-doko. It is open from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm (last order). The glass-paned restaurant has a view not just of Kamo River, but also of Daimonji, from the third floor and up.

<Phone: 075-211-2501; Hours: 11:30 am - 10:00 pm; Holidays: Unscheduled; Capacity: 170; Parking: None; Access: 2 minutes on foot from Keihan Gion Shijo Station; Budget: 7,000 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: None; Reservations: Recommended (courses that are 8,640 JPY and up must be reserved.)


173-2 Pontocho Shijodori-agaru Kashiwaya-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

Casual Noryo-doko Italian

Amore Kiyamachi serves southern Italian cuisine from places such as Naples and Sicily by a chef who trained in Italy. There is a large wood-burning stove in the restaurant and the authentic pizza baked in it by seasoned pizzaiolo are fantastic. You can order courses as well as a la carte dishes.

Course A (6,264 JPY). Includes 7 courses such as combination appetizers, today's pizza & pasta, and baked pork spareribs (minimum order of two; contents change monthly).

Paccheri Amatriciana (1,598 JPY).

There are 32 seats in the terrace-like noryo-doko. There are two seatings in the noryo-doko: 5:00 pm- 7:30 pm and 8:00 pm till closing.

<Phone: 075-708-7791; Hours: 11:30 am - 11:00 pm (last order 10:00 pm); Holidays: None; Pricing: 378 JPY cover charge (5:00 pm and later; excludes course meals); Parking: None; Access: Walking distance from Keihan Gion Shijo Station; Budget: A la carte 3,000 JPY and up, course 7,000 JPY and up; Credit cards: Accepted; Seating charge: None (however, there is a 378 JPY cover charge when ordering a la carte); Reservations: Recommended

Amore Kiyamachi

161 Izumiya-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 07.20.2017]

*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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