Down by the River

Dreaming of Kyoto
By Sol March in Travelogue

We’re making our way to one of Kyoto’s many temples when we come to a bridge that crosses over a wide river. Along the wide banks of this shallow river, people are everywhere.

This is a gathering place.

Bridge Crossing

We’re at one of the many bridges that cross the Kamogawa, a river that runs through Kyoto from north to south. The banks on either side of the river are wide and level, reminiscent of the broad paths along Paris’ river Seine.

Low Tide Hanging OutAlong the river bank Abandoned Bike

Though there are people walking, running, and biking along the river bank as far as the eye can see, this bridge is a nexus– groups of people gather here more than anywhere else along the river for picnics, after-school chats, and even dance lessons.

Gathering Place Activity Dance Practice

Despite the activity, the bridge is still a good place to find a quiet corner to read a book or to just look out over the river and reflect on your day.

A Quiet Corner Reflection

The crowds thin out as you move further down the path away from the bridge. Here, people travel in pairs, from a child exploring the river rocks with this mother, to a couple sharing a moment to themselves as they silently walk hand in hand.

Cranes Overhead DareInu Race Fishing Hand in Hand

Along the path, there are makeshift bridges composed of large stepping stones– perfect for small groups of friends and family to come together.

Classmates laugh and play games as they hop from stone to stone.


An elder fisherman passes on the family secrets to his eager grandson, while grandma looks on with a smile from under the cool shade of an umbrella.


Kyoto does not feel as big as some of Japan’s other cities, but it’s still nice to find a spot where you can escape the noise of the city and catch your breath.

Down by the river, you can relax, take a stroll, or just go with the flow.

Kyoto by the River Rolling Hills of Kyoto


Dreaming of Kyoto

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