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2007年7月 2日 (月)

Osaka by Water

Yodogawa_12Exploring Osaka's waterways reveals the many different characters of the city. Summer is a good time of year for strolling the riverbanks and enjoying the atmosphere of the heat on the cool water — and each river brings a different experience.

In the north, Yodogawa runs by the modern towers of Umeda, yet the reed beds along its banks are home to wildlife that remind us of Osaka's origins as a wetland. The banks inside the levees are broad and well used by the local people for all sorts of sports and recreations — a great place for people watching.

Yodogawa_21 Meanwhile, the Dojimagawa runs gracefully through Yodoyabashi, Osaka's stately civic centre, under old stone bridges and willow trees.

Further south, the Dotonbori canal cuts through Namba and Shinsaibashi, the entertainment heart of the city with its fascinating mix of the old Osaka of Sakunosuke Oda and a modern vibrancy and creativity that compares well with New York's East Village or London's Camden.

Yodogawa_56 Riverside redevelopment in this area, although not finished, promises an exciting new aspect, with water-level boardwalks along the Dotonbori and lots of new cafes, restaurants and bars.

I have mentioned only my three favourite stretches of waterway, there are many more in Osaka. Getting off the thoroughfare and down by the water gives the explorer an entirely new perspective on the city and shows off its many, diverse faces.

(Text by Chris Page, Kansai Scene editor, Photos by Laura Markslag)

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