In many cities, the start of summer means the opening of patios and al fresco dining. In Kyoto, it means the opening of the Kamo River terraces.
Nearly 100 different establishments will open outdoor areas for patrons to enjoy. The stretches of terraces, which are propped up on wooden stilts, are divided into four sections: Kamikiyamachi, Pontocho, Saiseki and Shimokiyamachi. The tradition dates back to the Edo Period (1603-1868) when townsfolk would gather by the river to enjoy various forms of entertainment. (Yuki Yamauchi)