Kamogawa 鴨川 – Duck River. 21.10.2014

Having lived here for over a year now, and faced with the arduous labor of deleting thousands of unwanted pictures from my ipad, I’ve noticed some common themes. Kyoto is beautiful – this is the undisputed truth – and today I’m sharing some of my fave snaps of Kyoto’s main artery – the Kamogawa, or, 鴨 wild duck 川 river.

The Kamogawa is a place to practice instruments, hold blossom viewing parties, bbqs, fireworks (but thats illegal so don’t..), jog, walk your dog, get into town without nearly being run over. There are always people there.

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This photo was taken at the very beginning of my time here. Foolishly I was taken in by the beauty of the river and decided to eat my breakfast sitting on some steps leading down to the water, I was bitten to shreds by mosquitos. The mosquitos seem to be less bitey this year, I think the weather has been a lot cooler this time round. This section of the river is by Demachiyanagi which is the main train station connecting the Keihan line (to Osaka through downtown Kyoto) and the Eiden line (which takes me home to North East Kyoto, and then on up to Kurama).

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Further up north by Takano you can see why people say Kyoto has five seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… and Typhoon season. I took the top photo in Spring, or, Cherry Blossom season. The picture underneath that one was taken during a typhoon. During typhoons the river swells, sometimes up and over the paths and has been known to flood even downtown Kyoto around Sanjo! I’ve tried to pop that into perspective below.

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The picture on the left is at normal levels, the two on the right show that you can’t see the turtles as they’ve been drowned by the water coming down from north Kyoto. At these times it is usually prohibited to walk by the river.

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Here’s a snap I took from the train on the way up to Kurama in the snowy winter, I love how you can always see the mountains around Kyoto and the stark changes they endure through the year. I don’t think the river froze, its too fast moving to freeze. My winter blog was quite a miserable one, I’ll be more prepared this year and will hopefully appreciate winters uh..unique…blessings… uch I hate cold.

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You can see here in this moody number taken in Autumn last year that the branch of the Kamogawa that comes from the west seems to be a lot wider, you can’t see it but the Botanical gardens are on the right.

My cousin explained that the guidebooks recommend not walking by the Kamogawa at night, so perhaps I too should advise this? But if you’re visiting in the summer do stop by Sanjo and come down to the river for a chu hi! And there is surely no danger during the day so be sure to spend some time watching the wild duck river go by.

Thanks for reading!

Love Rach xoxox

 

2 comments

  1. Tisha Tran · October 22, 2014

    wow look at those trees!

  2. Calinda · October 23, 2014

    I used to live near demachiyanagi, at teramachi shoutengai, for about two years! I still miss sitting on top of one of the big stone turtles, reading!

    Kamogawa at night, in spring or summer, is great! Bring a few candles, buy some snacks at the seven/eleven, and enjoy the silence!

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