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Archive for the ‘Bridges & Tunnels’ Category

Photo #41 – Soprano Saxophonist by Togetsukyo Bridge, Kyoto

A musician practices with his soprano saxophone by the Katsura River in Arashiyama; Kyoto, Japan.This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


A Soprano Saxophonist practices by the Katsura River, just downstream of the Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. This musician can be heard at the end of episode 4 of the podcast.

This is not quite the wide postcard view of Togetsukyo that includes the peak of Mount Arashiyama. I plan to return to shoot the standard postcard angle with the bridge when I come back for an Arashiyama light-up festival I’ve heard takes place here later in the year.

Here are 2 more views of Togetsukyo if you are a bridge enthusiast like me and want to jump right to those.
Togetsukyo Bridge from its north end (Photo #26)
Togetsukyo Bridge viewed from the west (Photo #30)

These 3 photos were taken while standing on the bridge.
Photo #38 / Photo #39 / Photo #40

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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Photo #40 – Kyoto’s Mountain Skyline from the Togetsukyo Bridge

Mountains to the north and west of Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan.This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Kyoto is surrounded by mountains to the north, east, and west.
Here you can see the western perimeter mountains to the left that Kyoto’s Arashiyama and Sagano neighborhoods are nestled up against, as well as the mountains that angle off to the north to mark the upper boundaries of the city.

If you look closely, in the distance you can see the girls in kimono from the previous photo.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #39 – Japanese Kimono on Arashiyama Bridge

Purple Kimono on Arashiyama's Togetsukyo Bridge in Kyoto, JapanThis photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


These girls are not wearing the same pattern on their Japanese Kimono, but I think they must have agreed that purple would be the color of the day.

They are walking north on Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge after sunset.

I have visited Japan many times, but I’m still pleasantly surprised when I encounter the occasional circumstance where Japanese persons can be found wearing traditional Japanese clothing.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #38 – Arashiyama River Park; Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama river park from the south end of the Togetsukyo Bridge.

This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


As dusk sets in, a few visitors to Arashiyama relax just downstream of the Togetsukyo Bridge in a small park by what is at this spot called the Katsuragawa River.

Just a few feet behind me where I am standing on the south end of the Togetsukyo Bridge, the same river is called Hozugawa. The bridge is a name changing point for the river.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #30 – Upstream of the Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama

Iconic Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Kyoto, japan

This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


Looking east from Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan, the Togetsukyo Bridge, the icon of Arashiyama, is framed here by the mountains on the opposite side of the city and the Hozugawa River in the foreground.

Both this and my previous Togetsukyo Bridge photo do not show the most famous postcard view angle from the east side with the closest western peak directly behind the bridge.

I’ll be sure to get that view during a nighttime shoot later this year when the hill behind Togetsukyo will be lit up with colored lights for a special event.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

Photo #26 – Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge, Kyoto

Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Kyoto, japan/
This photo corresponds with Episode 4 of the Savage Japan Podcast. Episode 4 can be heard here at SavageJapan.com or here at SavageSnowPodcast.com.


This Kyoto landmark, Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge, crosses the Hozugawa/Katsuragawa River on the west side of Kyoto in the popular tourist area of Arashiyama and Saga. I realized I was not too far away from Arashiyama while running errands earlier in the day and on a whim, I decided to pedal on over.

There is a lot more to do here than I had time for during this late afternoon and early evening of exploration. Arashiyama is quite scenic and peaceful; I will be returning for sure.

There are some rapids upstream on the Hozugawa River which is later renamed the Katsura River at this point, but from the photos I’ve seen it looks like the occasional rapids are only class 2, maybe one class 3.

Incidentally, this river is also confusingly called Oigawa upstream of the bridge, but I have read too many conflicting accounts of the proper use of that name to feel confidant in explaining when to use Oigawa at this point. When I sort through all the misinformation, I will share more about it.

Hozugawa is used in connection with the boat trips and is the only river name you need to remember if you are considering taking that trip.

Rides in hard shelled boats are available to take passengers down the river from Kameoka to the takeout at the Togetsukyo Bridge. Typically the boat passengers are visitors who just took the Sagano Scenic Train up to Kameoka.

The river trip is marketed as an exciting adventure, but I think it is a trip to be taken more for the scenery and not for the rapids, unless you have a low adrenaline threshold. In that case, you may find the boat ride to be thrilling as well as beautiful.

As I mentioned in the podcast, I’ll probably wait until I have a nice girl to go with me before I take the boat ride back down, but you might find me taking the inexpensive train ride up to Kameoka for a day of exploration and then back down again at some point in the not too distant future.

I doubt anyone would object if you brought your own kayak or raft and attempted to paddle down into Arashiyama, but I wouldn’t make a special effort to bring my kayak here.
If you happen to be visiting Gifu Prefecture on the other hand, or Shikoku…

There will be much more to come on this website and in the podcast in the future regarding whitewater kayaking and rafting opportunities in Japan.

Japan Photo Journal – Living in Japan
Dan Savage [Email]

Grab anywhere on map to scroll around precise spot where above photo was taken. Zoom in & out with buttons in left corner. To learn more about geotagging your own photos, visit LearningtoGeotag.com.

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