Refreshing River Swim

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refreshing river swim

Summers in Japan are no joke, high temperatures and even higher humidity. Thankfully we live close to the mountain with lot’s of trees and nature, and not in the concrete jungle that is the big city. But sometimes it’s necessary to head deep into the countryside, and go for a river-swim to cool off.

2020 has been a tough year so far… We have, like most others, been limited in what we can do and where we can go. We have avoided the city and big crowds, taking precautions against Covid-19. Luckily we really enjoy going to the countryside, so we decided to head out to try and find a nice swimming spot away from the crowd.

NOTE: This post is actually two trips merged into one...
river valley

Our first trip took us past Miyama’s thatched village to Ashu Road Park. Along the way we could see many spots along the Yura River where people were swimming and playing in the river. Some of them looked quite crowded, and even though the Corona numbers are low in Kansai right now, we preferred to head deeper into the valley to find a spot for ourselves.

Ashu Road Park sign

Ashu Road Park is really nothing more than a small park along the Prefectural Route 38 in Kyoto, but it does have toilets and space for around 15 cars. When we arrived there were a couple cars there already, with some taking photos of this beautiful horseshoe bend in the river. We made our way down through a series of stairs and set up our little camp in the shade.

dipping our feet in
river valley

Such a refreshing feeling to get into the water on a hot day. The spot at Ashu Road Park is deep and large enough to allow for a bit of swimming. But it doesn’t really have any good spots for diving. Unfortunately Megu didn’t bring her swimsuit this time, so we decided that the weekend after we had to come back for revenge.

walking along the river

The next weekend we headed back to the same spot, but unfortunately the swimming spot at Ashu Road Park was already occupied, so we decided to head back down the river to try and find another area we could go to. The good thing about Yura River is that there are many different places suitable for a swim.

So after a couple minutes of backtracking, we found our spot for the day.

floating donut

Lucky for us this new “secret” spot was even better than the spot near Ashu Road Park. After climbing down the embankment from the road, we donned our new “water shoes” and got in the water. We had also bought an inflatable donut that we could float around in.

shoes to use in water
These makes wading in the water so much easier…

We had a really good time, and we’ll definitely be coming back next summer… multiple times. Let’s hope for an end of Corona so we can get out and enjoy the world again without worrying too much.

heading home

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