Kamo River: The Waterway that Created Kyoto *RERUN
The Kamo River runs through one of Japan's most famous tourist destinations, Kyoto, which has a population of 1.5 million people. Even now, each season, the lives of the people of Kyoto are intertwined with the river. The river's water nurtures Kyoto's unique vegetables, and restaurants serve fish caught within it. Its water is still being used for purification at a shrine with 1,500 years of history. We take a look at the many faces of the Kamo River as well as the people who love it and live with it.

Purifying Water

People have taken special care of the Kamo River's water, as it is thought to be sacred. The river's name comes from that of the Kamo Clan, which once held the right to manage the river's water. They were able to decide where to send water, and how much. The Kamo River's purifying water is also essential for a variety of festivals. Its water flows into Kamigamo Shrine, which the clan built. The shrine's Aoi Festival is one of Kyoto's 3 major festivals, and it also uses the Kamo River's water for purification.

Kyoto Vegetables

Because Kyoto is located in a basin, it contains abundant groundwater. The Kamo River is one of the groundwater's sources. It is that bountiful water that nurtures Kyoto's variety of unique vegetables, the "Kyoto Vegetables." One of the vegetables, the Kamo Eggplant, is an essential flavor of summer in Kyoto. It's a superb ingredient, used in Kyoto cuisine after being prepared in a variety of ways, such as being combined with soup stock or covered in miso and cooked.

Evenly-spaced Couples

The Kamo River's riverbanks are a place for the people of Kyoto to relax, and where people have gathered since long ago. It's even said that the Shijo riverbank is where Kabuki emerged from. As the sun goes down, numerous couples can be seen along the riverbank. Since they all seem to be regular intervals apart, they are called the "evenly-spaced couples." No matter what the era, the Kamo River colorfully decorates the view.