Running in Kyoto – Kamo River

One of the things I love to do when overseas is to find a nice place to run. Ideally some place where there are no or little traffic and people. Not for me, the crowded sidewalks of Beijing or even Tokyo. In Kyoto, we found a beautiful place to run – alongside the Kamo River.20161109_084001

The Kamo River is like what the Singapore River is. A river that runs through the heart of the city franked both side by roads and buildings and with many bridges over it. In both cases, the authorities have put in much effort to make the riverside a place for people to commute or to just sit and enjoy the view. But this is where the similarities end. Unlike the Singapore River which is a river converted to a concrete drain converted into a beautified waterway, the Kamo River retains much of it original form. One can literally walk right into the river much like what I did here while taking this photo. So unlike the Singapore River which is out of bounds to anyone.dsc_2181

Beside the easy access, the river water is so clean and teeming with ducks, egrets and other birds. dsc_2063

There was also many storyboard like this telling the history of the area. These are mostly located under the many bridges which span the river and protected from the elements.dsc_2204

Our run along the river bank was pleasant enough and we spent a lot of times stopping to take photo. We got lucky and were rewarded with this beautiful rainbow.dsc_2071

The path on the side was a mixture of asphalt and sand/granite mix and straight all the way. There were bridges at regular intervals for vehicles to cross the river and we did not have to stop for traffic or anything else and could just run on and on. There are regular markers along the way indicating the distance between each bridge.20161107_130133

Interestingly, we could choose to cross to the other bank via the many bridges or we could simply cross the river. One could simply wade across since the water level is so low unless it rains or we could cross via some nicely placed “stones” like what this office lady is doing.dsc_2114

And here is a close up of this interesting bridgedsc_2140

And this is M crossing the bridge. Look at how much she has to stretch her leg to leap to the other piece.dsc_2135

Indeed the gap between the stones is rather big and I really admire those people in their working attires who can cross the wet and slippery stones with ease.

We did an easy sightseeing smell flower pace run down or rather up the river until the junction where the Kamo River is joined by the Takano River to form the main Kamo River. dsc_2162

For the past hour or so it has been raining intermittently. We could have love to continue to explore the upper reach of the river but and we were getting cold and so we decided to turn back completing a 12 km run in the process. 

The next time you are in Kyoto, why not go for a run or a stroll or cycle along the Kamo River instead of visiting a shopping mall. You won’t regret it!

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