Kyoto’s most famous river, which flows right through the middle of the city, probably wouldn’t come to mind as an ideal swimming spot. However, further upstream, about 1 kilometre north of Kamigamo Shrine, there’s a beautiful stretch of river that’s perfect for paddling and picnics with Kyoto locals and (probably rather tipsy) university students. Again, this one can get crowded so be sure to arrive early!
From Demachi-Yanagi station board the City Bus number 4 and get off at the last stop, Kamigamojinja-mae. From here walk north along the river for 10 minutes until you smell barbecue.
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