Shimogamo Seryo

Famous Japanese style bar where local people gather and hidden in Shimogamo area.

Text : Mariko Yamashita / Photo : Yuki Sato


  There is a Japanese style bar, Izakaya, in a quiet residential area close to The Lake Biwa Canal where you can see fire flies in early summer. You can enjoy Kyo-ryori (local cuisine of Kyoto) using seasonal food with delicious sake together here at, Izakaya Seryo. A lot of local people come here and this place has been loved for forty years.

  It becomes very busy after evening with so many people such as college students, members of a shopping district, and even with university professors. The most attractive part of Seryo is that local regular customers love this place so much. On the contrary of its friendly atmosphere, all the dishes are very much authentic style. There are so many izakaya here in Kyoto, but I think not a lot of them offer a reasonable price on Kyo-ryori compared to Seryo.


  After passing through their store curtain, I can see the owner, his wife, and a chef working and cooking together efficiently. In the showcase in front of a counter seat has fresh seafood that the owner goes to the fish market every morning to buy in. Today, the owner got Yokowa bonitos, sea breams, flounders, squids, hamo (conger pike). You can also ask him, “What do you recommend today?” here at this place. The owner is going to cook the most delicious food skillfully with his best smile.

  His recommendation in summer is going to be : Hamono-otoshi (boiled conger pike), cold summer vegetables, grilled Ayu fish, grilled round eggplant with miso source on. These are the seasonal cuisine that you definitely want to eat in summer time. To tell you the truth, Ayu fish is actually swimming around in an aquarium before they are cooked. Whenever the customers order Ayu, waiters are going to catch them one by one with a net.

  What I would like to recommend to you is ‘Kuzubiki Tofu’ in all seasons. Having plenty of vegetables, tofu, and dark chicken meat bought at a chicken specialty store on a shopping street, in starch thickened broth and there is grated ginger on top of it. This is the only dish that I like to eat when I get cold. I can see careless magnificence of Seryo here in this kind taste. When you visit here, I would like you to order it with no doubt.

  One more thing of the specialty here is the delicious sake they offer. The owner chose them by himself and buy in only he thinks it is amazing. They have sake mainly from Tohoku region and Kyoto in their selection. In summer time, you need to try their cold sake for sure. They put green maple leaves on top of ice around and I think this is the best drink ever to finish a hot day.

  The owner, Kazuaki Nishikawa told me, “I would like to run this place as long as I can move”. He became 75 years old in this year. This is the izakaya that local regular customers gather around in order to see the owner and his delicious dishes and its warm and friendly atmosphere brings more new customers here. He smiled and said, “The best thing in a day is that all the customers are happy to be here”. In this summer evening, I feel like going to Seryo again tonight.



ADDRESS : 82 Nishihangi-cho Shimogamo Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City (MAP)

PHONE : +81(0)75-721- 5846

HOURS : 5:00 p.m. ~ 12:00 a.m. (L.O. 11:00 p.m.)

CLOSED : Monday