Turn the heat into enjoyment How Kyoto people cool down elegantly -2


On Kiyamachi Street lined with eateries and north of Oike Street where guests can enjoy its calm surroundings is an area known as Kamikiyamachi. This is where Berglund’s house is located. It is a former Japanese inn, and he has been living in this kyomachiya townhouse since 2000. After walking through the flagstone entrance, removing shoes, and passing through the hallway, a visitor is greeted by the expansive kawayuka. Berglund was present at the putting up of the platform this year, on a fair weather day at the end of April. “Of the 92 kawayuka, only a few (mine included) are made of wood. When I moved here, a drawing from the Edo period was left behind, and the kawayuka is replicated from that. When the wood rots, it must be replaced, and the maintenance is difficult compared to a steel-frame, but I want to preserve its traditional appearance. Moreover, a wooden structure is completed by carpenters by hand as opposed to a crane for the steel frame. I also want to preserve the wonderful techniques of the carpenters,” he says with a hint of pride in his expression as he watches the puzzle-like assembly of the kawayuka.


And on the first of May, the kawayuka season at so-b run by Berglund’s son starts. “It is fine if guests want to take a break with a beer or even if they just want to see what a kawayuka is. On the other hand, if guests want a real meal and contact us ahead of time, catering (delivery of Kyoto cuisine) from a partnering Japanese food restaurant can be arranged.” This summer, visit the oasis of Berglund who came to Japan 48 years ago and fell in love with Japanese culture and its custom of noryo-yuka.

  • so-b
    TEL: 075-212-9218
    ADDRESS: 京都市中京区木屋町通御池上ル上樵木町501-6 / 501-6 Kamikoriki-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto
    OPEN: Jun., Jul., Aug.: Inside: 12pm-4pm,
    Kawayuka : 4pm-10pm (Last order: 9:30pm)
    Sep.: Kawayuka : 12pm-10pm (Last order: 9:30pm)
    CLOSED: Sun.
    AVERAGE: ¥2,000 (¥600 for beer)
    SMOKING: Yes
    *Reservations required for meals up to the day prior to a visit.

The information is current as of May 2017.