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Kanda River (神田川) – Then and Now

Kanda River 神田川 ukiyo-e

Things have changed since Hiroshige created the above scene (“Basho’s Hermitage and Camellia Hill on the Kanda Aqueduct at Sekiguchi, No. 40” (せき口上水端はせを庵椿やま) in “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” (名所江戸百景)). I haven’t taken any photos of the Kanda River yet, as it is anything but beautiful these days. However, I will in spring when the cherry blossoms are out.

Basho’s hermitage (Bashodo or 芭蕉堂) is still here, but it isn’t easy to find (especially if you can’t read Japanese), and you have to go through a closed gate to enter the grounds.

This area along the river is still a great spot for a walk though. I take one or two here a week, and Linda takes one almost every day past Chinzanso. Our apartment would be in the distance on the left side of this ukiyo-e where the trees are, although at that time our apartment’s exact location was part of takadanobaba which Hiroshige also included in his “100 Famous Views of Edo.”

A few weeks back I witnessed a man throw a hefty bag of garbage into this water way. What a shame. From the looks of the current state of the water, he isn’t alone.

kanda river walking path tokyo japan

The above is the current path along the river, complete with elevated expressway on the other side and guard rail (the river is some 30 feet below).

2 Responses to “Kanda River (神田川) – Then and Now”

  1. 1

    It seems like im your neighbor in Tokyo. I live in関口一丁目, near the Co-op supermarket. 🙂 nice picture and history!

  2. 2

    Your place is more in that picture than mine. I’m in 西早稲田三丁目.