The paths along the Kamogawa River are the most popular spot for running in Kyoto. The river separates the newer part of the city on the east side from the older (‘Gion’, Maruyama Park) area. The paths are a sort of stone surface and are below the street, at river grade, on both banks of the river most of the way. In sections, there are also paths above the river. Overall, there are 19 km of paths, with numerous bridges along the way. Both sides are lined with wide green areas and bike paths, with plenty of benches and exercise areas. There are also imaginative “bridges” made from stone turtles that children can use to hop across the river (in season). Both are lovely, but the west (Kamo-gawa) branch has more wide park areas. This is a special place in cherry blossom season. Along the river paths there are good maps outlining three courses with segment distances. There are also subway stations between Demachiyanagi and Tobakaido.
A good place to start is in the central business district, at the Jingu-Marutamachi station, just south of the Imperial Palace area and near the Ritz Carlton hotel. We have mapped two routes along the Kamo River, concentrating on the west side: north to Nishigamo Bridge, for 6.4 km (4 miles), and south to Jujo Dori, for 5.3 km. The total south-north distance is 11.7 km (7.3 miles). We also include a table with segment distances. Note: At Demachiyanagi, the river splits. The west branch remains the Kamo-gawa, while the east branch is the Takano-gawa.
- 11.7 km (7.3 miles), from Jujo Dori in the south to Nishigamo Bridge in the north.
- Anywhere along path, but Jingu-Marutamachi station is centrally located and good place to start
- Jingu-Marutamachi station, and good transit stations along the way