Walking along the Kamo River
What is it?
The Kamo River runs along the east and north side of Kyoto and is a pretty popular attraction with the locals. Even tourists staying but a few days will most probably cross it several times (to get to Gion if nothing else).
However it’s a good idea to take the time to walk alongside it, and especially the bit up north, past Demachiyanagi, which is called Nakaragi no Michi (another sakura spot by the way). Besides not needing to look at a map (just follow the river!), you’ll get to see a lot of different things: from restaurants, bars, theaters and everything the city center has to offer, to green open spaces with benches to relax, cute residential areas, tiny local stores, and more!
Countless buses and trains will get you just about anywhere along the Kamo River. Then you simply have to follow its course. The right and left banks are both interesting.
At the Demachiyanagi Delta, you can decide to go east and follow the Takano river instead, which is also beautiful (especially the west bank, bordered with houses). It’ll lead to Kokusaikaikan from where you can connect to the walk I introduced just before!
Finally if you’d rather finish your journey amidst peace and nature, then you’ll definitely want to start from the south and head north (Shijo to Kamigamo-jinja). If instead you prefer to end your work in town, near bars and restaurants, then do it the other way around.