Nouryo Yuka (納涼床) is also regarded as Kawadoko (川床) which literally means river bed. While different places use different pronounciations or terms: Kawayuka (かわゆか) in Osaka Kitahama (大阪北浜); Yuka (ゆか) in Kyoto Kamogawa (京都鴨川); kawadoko (かわどこ) in Kibune (貴船) and Takao (高雄), but they all refer to dining at the river bed.
It is a unique summer tradition in the Osaka-Kyoto area. During the summer season, in order to beat the heat, restaurants and teahouses will build decks and terraces at the riverside and outdoor locations where you can have a good view of the river.
Each year starting from May to September, you can enjoy the Kawadoko in Kyoto Kamogawa (京都鴨川), Kibune (貴船), Takao (高雄), Takagamine (鷹峯).
Kibune Kawadoko (貴船川床)
The best of both kawadoko and flowing noodles experiences
Kibune kawadoko are built just few centimeters right upon the river with big and small cascades. The river water runs below the deck on which you are sitting.
Moreover, you can find a ryokan restaurant called Hirobun (ひろ文). It is one of the few restaurants in Japan which offers “Flowing Noodles” (Nagashi-sōmen 流しそうめん). You will be sitting on the kawadoko in front of a cascade. Bundles of noodles will run through a bamboo tube upon the table constantly, and you have to grab the noodles immediately.
Kamogawa Nouryo Yuka (鴨川納涼床)
Close to the Kyoto city centre and have a dynamic choice of Japanese and foreign cuisine
Kamogawa is located in central Kyoto. Along the Kamogawa river, the Kawadoko / Nouryo Yuka are distributed in four areas: Kamikiyamachi (上木屋町), Pontocho (先斗町), Saiseki (西石垣), Shimokiyamachi (下木屋町). There is not a specific cuisine in each of the areas.
Apart from having the traditional Kyoto cuisine, you can also have Korean, Chinese, Italy and all kinds of foreign cuisine. Before you go visiting, why not check a bit on which kind of cuisine you would like to have?
Takao Kawadoko (高雄川床)
Luxurious wide vision and proximity to the big river in pure nature
Takao is the favourite spot for lots of Kawadoko fans. It is located north of Arashiyama (嵐山). The area is totally surrounded by nature with a great view of the river. You can watch fireflies (Hotaru kanshō ホタル観賞) at night time around mid-June to mid-July and maple leaves (紅葉) in autumn.
There are some restaurants such as Momiji-ya (もみぢ家), where you will be greeted by Maiko (舞妓) – an apprentice Geiko (芸子) (also known as Geisha (芸妓) in Tokyo), who may perform as well during dinner time. This restaurant will still maintain its kawadoko in October and November so that people can view maple leaves in autumn.
Kumogahata Kawadoko (雲ヶ畑川床)
Love of forest and calmness
It is the least popular spot with not many ryokan restaurants. But this also means that you can actually get away from the populated tourist spots, enjoy the calmness of the nature and greedily devour the fresh air all around. Rakuunsō (洛雲荘) as shown below can be your favourite ryokan restaurant in Kamogahata.