Warm Welcome In Kyoto For 'cool Floor' Ritual By Kamogawa River

Warm welcome in Kyoto for 'cool floor' ritual by Kamogawa river

KYOTO--Diners took advantage of balmy weather here May 1 for the centuries-old tradition of eating on open-air terraces along the Kamogawa river while geisha mingled among them.

Customers took in waterfront views as they relaxed on the first day of Kamogawa Noryoyuka (Cool floor along the Kamogawa river), when the daytime high hit 29.5 degrees, the average temperature for early July in the city.

Temporary wooden floors are set up to face the famed river, and local specialties are served in the evening breeze.

Alfresco outposts of about 90 restaurants, mainly serving Kyoto cuisine, stretch some 2 kilometers along the river, from Nijo-ohashi bridge to Gojo-ohashi bridge.

On the balcony of Ikumatsu, a historic hotel and restaurant in the city's Nakagyo Ward, about 90 visitors were entertained by geisha and "maiko" apprentice geisha.

"I really like Kyoto’s unique flavor," said one 65-year-old company employee, who came from Yao, Osaka Prefecture.

The event continues through Sept. 30.