After strolling through Gion the night was falling. We walked over the bridge at Kamo River, which is popular with residents and tourists. A few people were walking along and sitting next to the pathways running alongside the river. The water level of the river was quite low, but we enjoyed the reflections of the houses – like this big one, which houses a Chinese restaurant, on the surface of the quiet river.
Kamo-gawa is probably the most famous and arguably the most popular river in Kyoto. It runs on about six miles from Demachiyanagi northeast of the city (towards Shimogamo shrine) to the south, not far from Fushimi Inari (the temple with the foxes and red gates, we visited it a few days earlier), where it joins Yodo-gawa.
The river is clean and sweetfish swim in the water. It is said that people commonly fished here a long time ago. There was also was the saying ‘wash your face with water of the Kamo River’ so some people even say that the river helped create ‘beautiful Kyoto women’.
Around Gion, Pontocho restaurants display large terraces, offering customers a very pleasant view, especially on the many birds that wander around the river. In the evening, Kamo-gawa becomes more romantic with the many lights that illuminate it.
If we had more time (and nicer weather) in Kyoto we might have rented a bike downtown or in the Gion district and started the ride from Pontocho and go up Kamo River towards Shimogamo, then go back down by the other side.