Traditions of the Kamogawa

August 28, 2016

by Erica Wada, Yumika Fujii & Konomi Shinbashi

Kyoto is one of the most popular prefectures in Japan these days because it has a lot of famous places. The length of Kamogawa River is 31 kilometers, and it is home to such wildlife as great salamanders, black-headed gulls, sweetfish, and so on. In this article, we are going to introduce four traditions related to the Kamogawa: kawadoko, kyoyuzen, kabuki, and couples sitting on the riverbank.

Kawadoko

kawadokoOne of these traditions takes place in the summer season, and is called noryodoko (納涼床) or kawadoko (川床). Noryodoko or kawadoko is basically an outdoor wooden deck that is made on the river to offer food to customers for a limited time, between May to September. There are 96 restaurants in just 2 kilometers between Nijo bridge in the north and Gojo bridge in the south. People can enjoy eating and drinking on the noryodoko belonging to each restaurant. The entire region of restaurants is divided into four areas: Kamikiyamachi, Pontocho, Nishiishigaki, and Shimokiyamachi. The restaurants are not only Kyo-ryori (Kyoto cuisine) restaurants, but also other kinds of restaurants, such as Chinese, French, Italian, Korean and so on. There is even a kawadoko in front of Starbucks facing the river, so tourists can enjoy drinking coffee outdoors while seeing the beautiful views. Tourists from foreign countries can enjoy their food at these kinds of restaurants, too.

Kyoyuzen

kyouyuzenAnother tradition that is associated with the Kamogawa River is kyoyuzen. (京友禅) Kyoyuzen is the dyeing that was devised by Miyazaki Yuzensai in the Genroku period, and it is one of the traditional craftwork products of Kyoto. People once did yuzen nagashi (友禅流し) which they soaked kyoyuzen in the Kamogawa River, but that tradition had stopped because people thought it might cause water pollution.

Kabuki

kabukiIn addition, the part of the river near Shijo bridge is said to be the birthplace of kabuki. Kabuki is the theater peculiar to Japan, and it is one of the Japanese traditional performing arts. Kabuki odori (Kabuki performance) which is the origin of Kabuki, spread in popularity because the female entertainer, Izumono Okuni, performed on the riverbank of Kamogawa River. Today, tourists can see a bronze statue of Izumono Okuni near Shijo bridge, where her first dances were done.

Couples Sitting on the Riverbank

riversideThe last tradition that we want to introduce is the phenomenon of multiple couples sitting along the riverbank of the Kamogawa. On weekends particularly, there are a lot of people sitting there, especially from early in the afternoon to the night because the riverbed between the Sanjo bridge and Shigo bridge is so close to downtown. The spaces between the couples are always regular, so the phenomenon is called “The law of the regular intervals” in Japanese. What is interesting is that the spaces between couples or groups are always at the same intervals, even if the number of people sitting beside Kamogawa increases. The number of couples starts to increase at about 3:00 pm, and then the spaces get smaller and smaller because the couples or groups gather beside the river in order to rest, drink some coffee, and so on. Couples sit together in regular intervals because they do not need to care about nearby people. They simply enjoy talking with their boyfriend or girlfriend, or other friends. Each group of people has their own personal-space. This is why couples or groups sit together in regular intervals. In addition, Kyoto natives say they care about others more than people from other prefectures, so that is also a reason why they sit together beside the Kamogawa River in regular intervals, too.

This phenomenon of couples sitting in intervals has been happening in Kyoto from the early 1970s. There are various rumors as to why this happens. One of them is that there are ghosts or spirits that existed many years ago. They fought in a big terrible war, and a lot of people died. And now those people exist in-between couples sitting on the Kamogawa as ghosts or spirits, so it is said one of the reasons why people are sitting in the regular intervals.

We conducted a simple survey of university students about sitting on the Kamogawa. About 57% of the respondents said they have never sat beside Kamogawa River. We asked the respondents who answered to the question “Who did you sit together with?” 40% of the respondents answered “With boyfriend or girlfriend.” 60% of the respondents answered “With friends.” It means that sitting beside the Kamogawa is not only for couples, but also for groups of friends.

It also seems that the way people sit is changing these days. Then we asked the respondents the question about “What did you do while sitting beside the Kamogawa?” They reported that they sit to rest, drink some Starbucks coffee, and especially to talk with girlfriend/boyfriend, friends, or others. We also asked them “Why did you sit beside the Kamogawa?” Someone said, “There are no particular reasons, but it is just a nice space where I can sit down and get some fresh air.” Another person said, “The Kamogawa River is a sightseeing spot in Kyoto, so I can take good and memorable pictures.”

As you can see, there are four traditions which are related to the Kamogawa in Kyoto. Not only are these Kyoto traditions popular amongst Japanese people, but they are also becoming more and more popular amongst foreigners. If you visit Kyoto, why don’t you experience these Kyoto traditions through the Kamogawa river?

Kyo-tanabata

by Kasumi Sakamoto, Yuki Nakajima and Momoko Fukui

Tanabata, The Star Festival, is celebrated on July 7th each year. It is one of the traditional annual events in Japan. It is said to have originated from Chinese legend of the two stars. One star is Altair, which is said to be a cowherd boy, named Hikoboshi. The other star is Vega, which is said to be a weaver girl, named Orihime. They loved each other and got married. Since then they stopped working hard to meet each other. The king got angry and sent them separately to the big river called the Milky Way. They cried a lot every day since then, and the king was moved by their sadness and allowed them to meet each other once a year only on July 7th, as long as they worked hard. On that special night of July 7th, people in Japan decorate branches of cut bamboo with strips of colored paper and decorations made of origami to celebrate their meeting again.  Bamboo is believed to have talismanic power from ancient times. Japanese people also believe that if they write their wishes on the strips of paper and hang them on the bamboo, their wishes will come true. Many tanabata events are held in July 7th all over the Japan.

tanabata

Tanabata


 

Tanabata vs. Kyo-tanabata

It is generally said that tanabata is on July 7th in many parts of Japan. However, some regions, like Kyoto, hold tanabata festivals on August 7th or at the beginning of August. What is the difference? Actually, present day tanabata on July 7th is based on the modern solar calendar, while tanabata on August 7th is based on the ancient Japanese calendar.  In the old days, Japanese tanabata used to be held on August 7th. Interestingly, another Japanese traditional event, Obon, is held from the beginning of August to the middle of the month. Obon is the period of time when the souls of dead people come back to earth from the heaven and gather together.

Did you know there is a close relationship between obon and tanabata? In fact, tanabata used to be a part of obon in the past, and people considered tanabata as the day to welcome their ancestors. However, obon and tanabata have come to be separated in most parts of Japan. This is because of the Meiji Restoration during the Meiji Era.  This restoration revised the Japanese calendar and changed it from the old calendar to the Western calendar. Therefore, most tanabata events are held on July 7th, but in traditional places like Kyoto, they are also held on August 7th.

Kyo-Tanabata Events

Kyoto has many tanabata events from the beginning of July to the middle of August.  Among of all, Kyo-no-Tanabata is one of the most famous. It is a collection of events held every August, usually sometime in the first two weeks of the month. Every year, it brings Kyoto residents and visitors the real feeling of summer.

Visitors can enjoy Kyoto-style tanabata as they walk along Kyoto’s two main rivers, Horikawa and Kamogawa. The Horikawa section of the festival spans from Oshioike to Shimochoujamachibashi. It is separated into four sections, First Meeting, Romance, Wish, and Meeting Again. In this way, visitors can enjoy the romantic story of tanabata as they stroll through the area.  Next to the entrance, the main gate is made up of lanterns that invite festival viewers into a dreamy world. Various decorations and artistic lights beautifully express the romance of Hikoboshi and Orihime.

One of the most beautiful sections is the Milky Way of Light. It is in the area of Meeting Again because the Milky Way is the place where Hikoboshi and Orihime were allowed to meet again. This section spans from Shimotachiuridori to Shimochojamachidori, in the middle part of Horikawa site. The arch is made of bamboo, while LED lights represent the Milky Way. Upon seeing it for the first time, it is said to take visitors’ breath away.

At the Kamogawa site, visitors can feel the atmosphere of kyo-tanabata beside the Kamogawa. This area of the festival ranges from Oikedori to Shijodori. The wind chime lanterns, called furinto, is the main attraction of this area of the festival, and has become symbolic of the Kamogawa site. Many lanterns are lined along the right side of Kamogawa. Each lantern consists of a bamboo basket and a wind-bell, which is made with a traditional technique. Seeing and hearing the lanterns, visitors can feel coolness in the heat of the Kyoto summer. The best time to enjoy this section of the festival is during the evening because it is easy to see the lanterns are lighting up the dark sky.

Furthermore, visitors can get some perks if they wear a kimono or a yukata during Kyo-no-tanabata.  Some restaurants or cafes near the festival sites will treat visitors with a warm reception.  For instance, the Chourakukan Cafe in Higashiyama offer customers a 5% discount on their bill. Another advantage is that visitors are offered a special dressing service. For example, a yukata shop called Yumeyakata in Shomogyoku has a special dressing campaign for women. They dress female visitors in beautiful summer kimono, all for only 3,500 yen plus tax. And the visitors get to keep the kimono! Therefore, it is truly a good opportunity to wear a yukata or kimono during Kyo-no-Tanabata.

Access to Kamogawa

From Kyoto station, take bus No.4, 17, or 205 and get off at Shijo-kawaramachi. From there it is a 5-minute walk.

Access to Horikawa

From Kyoto station, take bus No.9 or 50 and get off at Nijojo mae. From there, just walk for about 2 minutes.

map http://www.kyoto-tanabata.jp/en/access/

Locations of Kyo-Tanabata


 

Kyo-Tanabata at Jishu Temple

Jishu temple is one of the sub-temples in Kyoto’s famous Kiyomizu Temple. It is well-known throughout Japan for its power to make people’s prayers and wishes come true. Every day Jishu temple is bustling with not only Japanese people, but also foreign visitors. Most of them pray for love.

jishujinja1

Make a Wish Come True at Jishu Temple


 

In the season of Tanabata, Jishu temple holds a Tanabata a special event using something made of paper, called tanabata kokeshi. ‘Kokeshi’ means Japanese limbless wooden dolls. Visitors write their name and their partner’s name on the back of the paper. And if they don’t have a partner at the time, they can write down the name of their desired partner. If visitors do this, it is said that they and their partner will be able to live with together happily, or they will able to encounter their partner in the near future.

jishujinja

Tanabata Kokeshi


 

On July 7th, we went to Jishu temple and wrote our wish on tanabata kokehi. In the shrine, there were many tourists, especially from places like China. The Chinese also have a culture of Tanabata. However, the Chinese people consider the solar calendar to be more important than the old calendar. Therefore, tanabata for Chinese people is always on July 7th, which is why Chinese people visit Jishu temple at that time.

Access to Jishu Temple
From Kyoto station, you take the buses No. 206 or 100 and get off at Gojo-zaka. It takes about 12 minutes. Opening hours is from 9:00 to 17:00.

access

Access to Jishu Temple


 

In conclusion, kyo-tanabata has a concept that respects both modern tanabata and traditional tanabata. So, it is accepted by various people, from children to elderly people, and also foreign people.  Especially, tanabata events held at Horikawa and Kamogawa are flexible for tourists because the events last for 10 days. So you can visit on the day you prefer. If you are in Kyoto during the month of August, don’t miss it!

Kamogawa River Wildlife

by Koudai Kobayashi & Akari Mihashi

KamogawaThe Kamogawa River is the fourth longest river in Kyoto, with a length of 31 km. The source of the Kamogawa is Sajikigadake, which is located in the northern part of Kyoto prefecture. The water from the Kamogawa is mostly used for agriculture. In addition, there are five famous bridges crossing the Kamogawa, lots of beautiful views, and many kinds of animals living there.  Furthermore, if you stroll along the banks of the Kamogawa, you can feel the spirit of traditional Japan, not only in its scenery, but also in its atmosphere.

Animals of the Kamogawa

Many kinds of animals inhabit the Kamogawa River. There are not only fish, birds, but also, surprisingly, mammals. For example, from any bridge over the water, you can see various types of fish swimming below, such as ayu and the Japaense Catfish (zacco platypus). You can also see birds almost anywhere along the river. In addition, there are several species of rare wildlife that you seldom see in Kamogawa River. Now, we will introduce some rare wild animals.

Fish

There are many fish in Kamogawa River, for example, the Pale Chub (zacco platypus) the Japanese Catfish. The adult of the Pale Chub grows to about 15 cm in length. And on the spawning male, you can see a beautiful design along the length of their bodies. The female is slightly smaller, and the color of their bodies is silver and silver-white. There are many Pale Chub in the Kamogawa, so you can see schools of them in the shallows. In the winter, Pale Chub are targeted by fishermen for their tasty meat, which is usually grilled. It is very delicious. However, we recommend that you just watch them and enjoy the nature.

In case of the Japanese catfish, the length of their body ranges around 40 cm.  They are good eaters, so they gobble up any food you give them.  Japanese catfish can’t be usually seen, so you should try to observe them when you have an opportunity to go to the Kamogawa.

Pale Chub (zacco platypus)

Zacco playpus

Japanese Catfish (Silurus asotus)

2615563272_eb3ae02979_m

Birds

There are also many fish in Kamogawa River, for example, the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and the Grey-headed Lapwing (Venellus cinereus). The Great Cormorant is a bird, which has recently increased in number. The adult of Phalacrocorax carbo grows to about 80 to 85 cm in length, and their wing span is about 31 to 34 cm. The female is slightly smaller, but it’s hard to make out the difference. It look blacks on the surface, but basically its color is emerald green.

The Grey-headed Lapwing is as big as a pigeon and it has long feet. The color of its head is a mottled grey and their beak is bark-colored. When they are flapping, we can see the beautiful contrast of black and white. In Japan, they make their habitat around the Kinki area.

The Great Cormorant
Phalacrocorax
The Grey-headed Lapwing
7261096886_9350750329_m

The Giant Salamander

Giant salamanders can be seen in the Kamogawa sometimes. The length of their body ranges from 50 to 60 cm. They have many bumps on their head and slimy skin. When they are irritated, they excrete a sticky liquid, which has a peculiar smell. They appear in the upper stream of the Kamogawa and are registered as a nationally protected species. Originally, giant salamanders didn’t exist in this river. The reason why they inhabit the river now is because someone introduced giant salamanders from China. Originally they were brought over for food, but now they are getting wilder. Moreover, the genetic crossing between Japanese giant salamanders and their Chinese counterparts has become a big problem. So in the Kamogawa, there are now three kinds of giant salamander: those indigenous to Japan, those that came from China, and genetic crosses between the two.

However, now almost all giant salamanders are mixed breeds, because their genes are strong. According to a recent survey, of 11 recently captured giant salamanders, 13% were of Chinese origin, while 44% were mixed breeds. So the problem is the decreasing the number of giant salamanders of purely Japanese origin. Japanese giant salamanders are conserved and displayed in the Kyoto aquarium, and there you can experience the true character of a giant salamander.

Giant salamander

Black-headed gull

Along the Kamogawa you can find black-headed gulls during certain times of the year. The length of their body is around 40 cm, while their maximum wind span reaches 100 cm.  They have a red beak and red feet. Interestingly, their heads change to a blackish brown color when summer comes. However, their heads turn white when winter comes. That’s their peculiar characteristic. Black-headed gulls arrive to the Kamogawa at the end of October, and they stay to the beginning of May. They are famous as seasonal tradition. Usually we can’t see black-headed gulls, but you occasionally see them when winter comes. But long ago, we could only see at most 10 black-headed gulls along the Kamogawa River. Nowadays, we can see over 5,000 black-headed gulls. That’s a rapid increase. The food shortage in the winter is a big threat for migratory birds. However, because of urbanization the birds are now fed in the winter by Kyoto residents. That’s why black-headed gulls have increased along the Kamogawa River recently.

Black-haded gull

Nutria

Nutria are similar to beavers. The difference between nutria and beavers is the size of the tail. Nutria’s tail is rounder and not as flat as beaver tail. In fact, nutria seem to be more like big rats than beavers. The length of their body is around 80 cm. They are mammals, who are good at swimming. They can hold their breath under water for over 5 minutes. They have orange-colored front teeth and small ears. That’s how you can distinguish between a nutria, beaver, and muskrat. Recently, the number of nutria has been increasing. It is in fact an invasive species. So since 2014, in a strategy of capturing nutrias had started in earnest.

nutria

Recommendations

As you can see, in addition to its beautiful views, there are also different types of wildlife inhabiting the Kamogawa River. When you come to Kyoto, you will be satisfied with seeing just the Kamogawa River itself. But we recommend that you try to observe some of its rare birds, mammals, and other nationally protected species with your own eyes. That would be a fantastic experience, and one that you will enjoy for sure. Come to see what kind of animals inhabit the Kamogawa River by all means.

Sources
http://gw-daisen-hiruzen.com/tt/hanzaki/han2.htm
http://www.pref.kyoto.jp/kamogawa/1232411453216.html
http://kasenseitai.nilim.go.jp/index.php/%E3%83%A6%E3%83%AA%E3%82%AB%E3%83%A2%E3%83%A1
http://www.kc-center.co.jp/suishitsu/column/kamogawa/

The Kamogawa Delta

By Mao Osako and Yuina Terasaki

Most people think of Kyoto as a place to see temples, shrines, and geisha. However, Kyoto is more than that. In this article, we will introduce a place that many tourists don’t know about: the Kamogawa Delta. After describing its history, we will tell you how to enjoy it. We hope that after reading about it, you will want to visit it yourself.

History of the Kamogawa Delta

Kamogawa Delta form is triangle.

The Kamogawa Delta is in the shape of a triangle (source).

 

The Kamogawa Delta is a part of the Kamo River, the main river in Kyoto that runs from the north to the south, right through the center of the city. From its source in the mountains north of the city, it runs for 31 km to the south, where it merges with the Katsura River in Fushimi Ward. The Kamogawa Delta is located at a place called Demachiyanagi, where the Takano River meets the Kamo River in their journey southward.

The word ‘delta’ means ‘triangulation point’, and indeed a triangular shaped piece of land between the two rivers is the result of many centuries of water flow. The delta was formed gradually by sand carried from the upper stream of the river being deposited where the two rivers merged. Over time, the deposited sand got hard and became solid ground.

The Kamogawa Delta is home to the forest of Tadasu of the famous Shimogamo Shrine. This place is sometimes called the ‘tip of a blade’ because the Y-shaped resulting from the two merging rivers is similar to the point of a sword. Historically, the river north of the delta was written with different kanji (賀茂川), whose name derived from the Kamo Clan, whose home was in mouth of the valley in the north, leading into the city in ancient times. Meanwhile, the southern portion was written (鴨川), meaning ‘wild duck river’. Both kanji compounds are pronounced in exactly the same way.

The Kamogawa Delta Today

As you may know, Kamo River is a really famous landmark in Kyoto. However not only the river, but also the Kamogawa Delta is a popular place. Local students and residents often use it as a place of rest and relaxation. On the weekends, they enjoy playing musical instruments, practicing sports, or doing something what they want.

Another common name for the Kamogawa Delta is simply, Demachiyanagi.  It is located next to two train stations, one on the Eizan Densha line and the other on the Keihan line. Both are named, Demachiyanagi. From there, you can easily find the triangular shaped delta just a few meters to the west.

One of the most interesting things you can do at the Kamogawa Delta is walk across the river on stepping stones. Even more intriguing is that the stepping stones have differing levels of difficulty, with some stones being more challenging than others. So if you are confident in your sense of balance, you should try stepping on the more difficult ones. If not, then it would be wise to stick with the easy ones. Also, you will find some of the stones in the shape of turtle, if you look closely.

Kamogawa Delta have stepping stone. There are famous some movies and animations.

Kamogawa Delta have stepping stone. There are famous some movies and animations (source).

 

In addition to being filming location for the occasional scene in a Japanese movie, the Kamogawa Delta is also an active spot for visitors to the annual Daimonji festival in Kyoto each summer. On August 16th, thousands flock to the delta to get a good view of the bonfires set into the mountains surrounding the city, all in the shape of a meaningful Japanese kanji. The name of the festival is the Great Bonfire Event on Five Mountains in Kyoto (五山の送り火). From the Kamogawa Delta, you can get an unforgettable view of several of the fires. That is why the Kamogawa Delta is so crowded on the 16th of August each year.

If you find yourself at the Kamogawa Delta, don’t forget to visit the nearby Shimogamo Shrine which is famous throughout Japan. It is a shine built on the delta itself, just north of the confluence of the two rivers. The Shimogamo Shrine is famous as a place that can help you realize your dreams and wishes. The shrine even appears in The Tale of Genji and The Pillow Book, both famous classical novels written over 1,000 years ago.

Because Kyoto’s land slopes downward from the north to the south, the best way of walking in Kyoto is to start at the north and make your way south. Along the way, you can enjoy memorable seasonal scenery as you walk along Kamo River. When you reach the Kamogawa Delta, you can stop and enjoy the scene. Now you can understand why the Kamogawa Delta is so wonderful. Why don’t you visit this unique area during your visit to Kyoto?

Access

By train: Get off at Dematiyanagi station of Keihan and go to Exit 3

By bus: Get off at Kawaramachi imadegawa. You must ride No.3, 4 or 102 .

Noryodoko (Sommerterrassen am Fluss Kamogawa)

von Saya Ohnishi

Norzodoko In Kyoto ist es im Sommer sehr heiß und schwül. Um der Sommerhitze zu entfliehen, geht man an den Fluss und verbringt dort die Zeit bis zur Nacht. Der Kamo Fluss (Kamogawa) ist einer der bekanntesten Flüsse dafür. Hier kann man in Restaurants am Fluss essen und trinken. Manche Restaurants haben eine spezielle Terrasse, die „Noryodoko“ genannt wird. Diese Terrassen dienen der Abkühlung im Sommer. Es gibt sie auch an anderen Flüssen, z.B. in Kifune und Takao, aber nur die am Kamo Fluss heißen „Noryodoko“. Die Geschichte der Sommerterrassen beginnt etwa im 17. Jahrhundert. Zuerst wurden am Kamo Fluss Teeläden für Kabuki-Aufführungen gebaut. Reiche Händler errichteten im Sommer Sitzplätze am Fluss, um Gäste aus der Ferne zu empfangen. Anlässlich des Gion-Fests reinigte man tragbare Schreine („Mikoshi“) am Fluss, weshalb sich dort viele Leute versammelten. In den Teeläden wurden dann verschiedene Dinge an sie verkauft. Schon in der Mitte Edo-Zeit zählte man mehr als 400 solcher Teeläden. Ursprünglich gab es die Terrassen nicht nur am rechten Ufer des Flusses, sondern auch auf der Sandbank im Fluss und am linken Ufer des Flusses. Mittlerweile sind nur noch die Sommerterrassen am rechten Ufer übrig. Der Kamo Fluss überflutete seine Ufer sehr oft und wurde jedes Mal in seinem Lauf korrigiert. Infolgedessen änderte sich die Lage des Flusses und die zwei anderen Terrassen konnte man nicht mehr benutzen. Bis 1929 konnte man jederzeit einen schönen Abend am Fluss genießen, unabhängig von der Jahreszeit. Aber danach wurden die Terrassen nur noch während des Sommers errichtet. 1934 wurde Kyoto von einem großen Taifun heimgesucht und im darauffolgenden Jahr regnete es sehr stark. Die beiden Unglücke zerstörten die „Noryodoko.“ Im 2. Weltkrieg sah man keine Terrassen mehr. Nach dem Krieg belebten sich die Sommerterrassen wieder. Man erließ ein Gesetz, um den Standard der „Noryodoko“ zu erhalten. Gegenwärtig kontrolliert der „Verein zum Schutz der Kamogawa-Terrassen“ (Kyoto Kamogawa Noryodoko Kyodokumiai) die Errichtung von „Noryodoko“. Auf diese Weise überliefert man die traditionelle Kultur der Sommerterrassen. image (2) Mittlerweile kann man die „Noryodoko“ von Mai bis September benutzen. Nur im Mai und September sind die Terrassen auch am Mittag geöffnet. Der Bezirk, in dem man die „Noryodoko“ errichtete, besteht aus 4 Straßen (Kamikiya, Ponto, Saiseki und Shimokiya). Die Anzahl der Terrassen beträgt etwa 80. Heute sind die Sommerterrassen des Kamogawa eine ebenso bekannte Touristenattraktion wie das „Gion-Fest“.

Kawadoko (cene estive all’aperto lungo i fiumi)

 

Kawadoko significa letteralmente ‘letto di ruscello’, ma è un’espressione che indica la tradizione estiva di passare il tempo cercando un po’ di frescura nella calda e umida estate di Kyoto.

Sopra delle piattaforme montate sulla superficie dell’acqua o lungo le rive, si gustano piatti tipici dell’estate e il sakè. È un passatempo popolare.

Kamogawa, Kibune e Takao sono tutti fiumi famosi, ognuno con kawadoko che hanno caratteristiche diverse.

In particolare la storia del kawadoko del fiume Kamogawa è antica: dopo numerose battaglie, grazie alla ricostruzione dei ponti Sanjo e Gojo da parte di Toyotomi Hideyoshi nel XVI secolo, il lungofiume del Kamogawa si popolò di visitatori e di negozi ambulanti. I ricchi sistemarono dei sedili sul guado e sui banchi di sabbia, e apparvero bancarelle e negozi di tè. Questo è stato l’inizio della tradizione dei ‘letti di ruscello’.

Nel periodo Edo, in seguito alla costruzione di muri di pietra e di argini, sono diventati centri di divertimento, particolarmente animati durante la festa di Gion.

turismo a Kyoto periodo Edo

“Giri turistici a Kyoto nel periodo Edo, scena pittoresca” disegno di Shirahata Youzaburou

 

 

Kawadoko del Kamogawakamogawa

Le piattaforme sono situate tra i ponti Nijo e Gojo.

La loro attrattiva è l’abbondanza e varietà di locali: cucina di Kyoto, cucina cinese, italiana, ristoranti di carne ai ferri e bar.

Per questo sono consigliati ai giovani e ai visitatori venuti a Kyoto per la prima volta.

Si possono gustare i cibi nella fresca brezza del fiume, a contatto con la natura.

 

 

Kawadoko del Takao

La zona di Takao, luogo famoso per gli aceri, è più fresca di 3-5 gradi rispetto al centro di Kyoto, e fin dal passato è conosciuta come un paradiso estivo.

Le passerelle, costruite in modo da sporgere sul fiume che scorre con i suoi bianchi spruzzi d’acqua, hanno il tetto, che protegge dai forti raggi del sole ma anche dalla pioggia.

Inoltre ogni anno tra la metà di giugno e l’inizio di luglio si possono vedere anche le lucciole Genji, una specie protetta.

takao

 

 

Kawadoko del Kibune

I kawadoko del Kibune hanno origine nel periodo Taisho.

Si narra che quando gli asceti si riposavano nel fiume per rinfrescarsi e lavarsi i piedi, c’erano persone che servivano loro cibo e tè.

Kibune è soprannominato “il salotto buono di Kyoto”.

Le passerelle sono montate a un’altezza quasi a sfiorare la superficie dell’acqua, proprio come se fossero dei condizionatori d’aria naturali!

La corrente fredda del fiume trasmette una piacevole sensazione di fresco.

In una natura lussureggiante ricca di alberi, anche l’animo troverà ristoro.

 

kibune

 

 

*Periodo e orario di apertura variano in base ai posti.

*Spesa indicativa:¥5000~

Kyonotanabata (京の七夕)

por Mina Yakushiji

¿Qué es tanabata(七夕)?

Tanabata es una de las fiestas que se celebran desde el pasado en Japón. Todos los años en el 7 de julio, la gente escribe deseos en pequeñas tiras de papel o tanzaku (短冊) y las cuelga de las ramas de bambú enano con las decoraciones de tanabata. En la actualidad esta festividad se celebra el 7 de julio del calendario gregoriano, pero en época antigua se celebraba en el mismo día del calendario lunar. Por eso, en el calendario gregoriano tanabata tuvo lugar hacia mediados de agosto. Debido a estas circunstancias históricas, en Japón hay dos clases de tanabata. Una se celebra según el calendario antiguo y la otra según el nuevo. A propósito, kyonotanabata(京の七夕) es la festividad que se celebra desde principios hasta mediados de agosto.

¿Qué es kyonotanabata?

La foto de la izquierda es la lámpara en que está escrito “kyonotanabata”. La foto de la derecha son los bambús enanos decorados con la decoración de tanabata.

Kyonotanabata es la fiesta nueva de verano que ha empezado últimamente en Kioto. En 2013, ésta es la cuarta vez. Los lugares principales de la celebracion son dos: la zona de Horikawa y la de Kamogawa. Allí hay muchos eventos. Durante este período, también hay eventos en los templos de Kioto. Por ejemplo, la visita nocturna a un templo y las iluminaciones de un templo.

Esta foto es del Santuario Seimei. Además, cuando nos vestimos de kimono y yukata, que son los trajes regionales japoneses, podemos recibir un privilegio en un lugar especial. Por ejemplo, en la noche podemos entrar en los templos a precio reducido y recibir un regalo pequeño. Pueden vestirse de kimono y yukata todas las personas que lo deseen, porque hay muchas compañías que alquilan los trajes. El precio es entre 2000 yenes y 5000 yenes.

La zona de Horikawa

(Horikawa es un río pequeño y está cerca del Castillo Nijo.)

acceso

En la estación de Kioto tomamos el tren de JR, línea de Sagano, y vamos a la estación de Nijo. Allí cambiamos al tren del metro, línea de Tozai. Tomamos este tren hasta la estación siguiente y nos bajamos. La zona de Horikawa está cerca de allí.

eventos

1º La parte de esta zona se ilumina con las lámparas azules y blancas.

2º Hacemos flotar una pelota de diodo fotoemisor en el Rio Horikawa.

3º Unos estudiantes exponen sus obras que hicieron con bambús y lámparas.

4º Exponen la decoración tradicional japonesa que se llama tsurushikazari(吊るし飾り). Esta es una cosa que trae buena suerte.

5º Durante sólo la noche de esta fiesta, podemos entrar en el Castillo Nijo sin pagar nada. En este castillo podemos ver el vídeo mapping, que es una tecnología de proyección nueva, y comprar unos productos famosos de Kioto en muchas tiendas.

Hay varios otros eventos. El año pasado he visitado esta zona. La iluminación era fantástica y bonita.

La zona de Kamogawa

(Kamogawa es un gran río en Kioto.)

acceso

En la estación de Kioto tomamos el tren del metro, línea de Karasuma, y vamos a la estación de Karasumaoike. Nos bajamos allí y cambiamos a la línea de Tozai. Tomamos el tren y vamos hasta la estación siguiente. Nos bajamos y andamos más o menos 5 minutos. Luego, llegamos a esta zona.

eventos

1º Hay muchas tiendas donde se venden unos productos famosos de todo Japón.

2º Hay muchas decoraciones de tanabata que se hacen con las artesanías tradicionales de Kioto, por ejemplo kyoyuuzen(京友禅) y nishijinori(西陣織).

decoraciones de tanabata(Esta foto es de "http://www.kyoto-tanabata.jp/kamogawa.html".)

decoraciones de tanabata

3º Iluminan con unas linternas japonesas.

unas linternas japonesas

4º Podemos ver el baile de maiko(舞妓) y sacar fotos juntos. Maiko es una aprendiz de una artista tradicional japonesa.

5º Podemos ver el vídeo mapping. Este es diferente al del castillo Nijo.

Hay varias otras cosas.

El período y el horario

Kyonotanabata tiene lugar por la noche desde principios hasta mediodos de agosto. En 2013 se celebra desde el 3 hasta el 12 de agosto. La iluminación se enciende desde las 7 hasta las 9 y media en la noche. Se fijan el día y la hora de una parte de eventos, por eso es mejor que lo comfirmen.

¡Vamos a tener un recuerdo de la noche bonita en Kioto!

Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Gardens

by Namiho Nakazawa

The Kyoto Botanical Gardens are located directly north of the Kyoto Imperial Palace, on the corner of Kamogawa and Kitayama streets.  The peaks of the Kitayama mountain range can be seen to the north of the gardens, with the Kamogawa river running on their western side.  Recently, these gardens have become quite the focus of attention in Kyoto, as there is a nice residential quarter and a good number of fashionable shops on Kitayama Street where the main entrance is located.

↓This is the main entrance to Kyoto Botanical Gardens.

main entrance to the botanical gardens

 

History

Kyoto Prefectural Botanical Gardens were originally intended to be opened as part of an exhibition to commemorate the coronation of Emperor Taisho in 1913.  Omori Shoichi was the governor of Kyoto Prefecture at the time, and he acquired the site in order to hold the Expo there.  However, he was forced to change his plans halfway through.  He finally managed to establish the gardens after receiving a donation from a member of the aristocratic Mitsui family, Mitsui Hachiroemon.  In 1917, work started on the botanical gardens, and following six years of commitment, they were eventually opened to the public in 1924.

the fountain in the botanical gardens

 

More Details

The gardens cover approximately 240,000 square meters in total area and are home to a collection of about 12,000 types of plants, flowers, shrubs and trees.  There is a vast lawn area here, plus a lot of cherry trees, a rose garden and the forest plant ecological park of Japan.  In April 1992, the huge greenhouse was opened, and is truly the pride and joy of these botanical gardens.

the huge greenhouse

These gardens provide a great place of recreation and relaxation for people living in Kyoto, and they help to raise the general education of the people through appreciation of the plants here.  There is also a real emphasis on research into botany.  The greenhouse also displays an image that is not unlike that of another great Kyoto treasure, Kinkakuji Temple, which is a temple that seemingly floats on a pond.  The total floor area of the conservatory is about 4,612 square meters and rises to a height of 14.8 meters at its tallest point.  The interior consists of nine zones, and the visitor can proceed along a route of up to 460 meters with no steps to negotiate.  The plant exhibits number approx. 25,000 in total, and are representative of around 4,500 species.

a lotus pond in the gardens

Opening Times
Open 9:00 am  –  Closed 5:00 pm (last entrance 4:00 pm)

Greenhouse Opening Times
Open 10:00 am –  Closed 4:00 pm (last entrance 3:30 pm)

Days Closed
December 28 to January 4

Entrance Fees
・ Adults  =  200 yen
・ High school students  =  150 yen
・ Elementary and Junior High School students  =  Free

Greenhouse entrance fee
・ Adults  =  200 yen
・ High school students  =  150 yen
*  People over 60 and the registered disabled  =  Free

There are also group discount fees and multiple-entry passes available

Access

By Subway
Kitayama Subway Station (for the main entrance)
Kitaoji Subway Station, and a 10-minute walk east (for the south entrance)

By Bus
Bus No.1 from Demachiyanagi Keihan Station
From Kyoto sation take the Kyoto Bus to the main entrance (the stop name is “shokobutsuenmae”)

Kamigamo

by Tomomi Serizawa

O santuário xintoísta Kamigamo pertence ao Grande Santuário Kamo, que é constituido por dois templos (Kamigamo e Shimogamo). Ambos se situam perto do rio Kamogawa: Kamigamo-Jinja fica a Norte e Shimogamo-Jinja a Sul.

O nome formal do Templo Kamigamo é “Kamo-Wake-Ikazuchi-Jinja”. “Ikazuchi” significa “trovão”, pois Kamigamo-Jinja, o deus do trovão, é o patrono deste templo.

No ano 678 d.C., o Imperador Tenmu construiu este templo, para servir de lugar de contemplação à montanha onde, reza a lenda, um dia o deus do trovão desceu.

Desde que foi construído em 678 d.C., este santuário foi reconstruído várias vezes. A sua forma atual deve-se ao Imperador Komei, que deu ordem para edificar o presente edifício em 1863.

Endereço: Kyoto-shi Kita-ku Motoyama 339
Telefone: 075-781-0011

Horário: 9:00~20:30
Entrada: grátis (500 ienes para visita guiada)

ACESSO

Ponto de ônibus: Kamigamo-Jinja-Mae
Número de ônibus (Shi-bus): 4,46, 67
Número de ônibus (Kyoto-bus): 32, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39




Kamogawa Nōryō-Yuka

by Fumi Abe
Ab Anfang Mai bis Ende September kann man am Kamogawa-Fluss vorgebaute terrassenartige provisorische Balkone sehen. Man nennt sie „Nōryō-Yuka“, was auf Deutsch ungefähr „Erfrischungsbalkon“ heißen würde.
Man kann dort essen und sich an der Atmosphäre am Kamogawa erfreuen. Nicht nur die Aussicht, sondern auch das Rauschen des Flusses ist schön. Das macht den Reiz der Nōryō-Yuka aus.

Kyoto liegt in einem Becken, deshalb ist es hier im Sommer sehr heiß. Auf dem Balkon erleben wir vom Rauschen, der Aussicht und dem Essen ein Gefühl der Erfrischung. Ursprünglich bauten reiche Kaufleuten die Balkone, um Gäste zu bewirten. Um 1660 wurden die Balkone Geschäfte. Jetzt haben etwa 80 Geschäfte solche Balkone. Man kann dort japanisch, chinesisch, koreanisch, italienisch und auch französisch essen. Und einige Bars und Cafés haben auch Balkone. In manchen Restaurants braucht man eine Reservierung.
Nicht nur im Sommer, auch in jeder anderen Jahreszeit hat der Kamogawa-Fluss seinen Reiz. Im Frühling kann man schöne Kirschbäume sehen. In Sommer machen dort viele junge Leute kleine Feuerwerke. Und manchmal gibt es am Kamogawa verschiedene Events und immer sieht man joggende Menschen und viele Pärchen. Besuchen Sie mal den beliebten Kamogawa-Fluss!