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Kibune  Outdoor Dining

          Kyoto is most commonly known for its spring "Hanami" season as well as its gorgeous autumn leaves as these seasons are very comfortable and cool.  Unfortuneately, Kyoto's summers leave little to be desired due to the excruciating heat and sometimes unbearable humidity so how do Kyoto residents cope?  One of Kyoto's summer pleasures is thus  riverside dining.  The Kamogawa River that runs through the middle of Kyoto hosts riverside patios at many of its restaurants.  


          There is also another area in the North part of Kyoto that offers  outdoor tatami rooms above the Kibune River in which you can enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the cool, summer breeze. The temperature is about 10 degrees Celsius cooler than the center of the city and the cool water from the mountains flowing directly beneath you offers an added dimension to your dining experience.

          The menus vary from restaurant to restaurant and you can enjoy a variety of different delicacies depending on the month that you go.  Below are some examples of what you might find in 


One of the defining aspects of “Washoku”(Japanese food)  is that the cuisine is determined by the season. Spring is mostly filled with dishes inspired by the cherry blossoms, strawberries, and green tea. But as spring turns to summer, ayu (鮎, often translated as Japanese Sweetfish) begin to appear–and just in time! Generally considered to be the most savory river fish in Japan, ayu is a staple food at the many festivals and barbecues throughout the summer months.



Sukiyaki is a type of hot pot dish known for its sweet and salty flavor, seasoned with shoyu, sugar, and mirin. In addition to thin slices of beef, common ingredients for sukiyaki include naganegi (Japanese leek), shiitake, tofu, and shirataki noodles. In general, the meat for sukiyaki is sliced slightly thicker than that for shabu-shabu.


     Sukiyaki is prepared in different ways in Kanto region and Kansai region. Sukiyaki in Kanto Tokyo) style is based on gyunabe (beef pot), which became a huge hit among people in the Meiji period. A soup base called warishita is prepared with shoyu, sugar, mirin, sake and such, and meat and vegetables and other ingredients are simmered together in the premixed base.


     On the other hand, sukiyaki in Kansai (Kyoto) style does not use warishita and instead, the meat is cooked first with sugar and soy sauce for seasoning. Vegetables are then added to the pot, and after boiling down the liquid, sake and water are added. Today, it is common both in Kanto and in Kansai to use raw eggs as a dipping sauce to eat sukiyaki, although this custom originally came from Kansai.

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