The Nihonbashi River is a 4.84 km long river that flows southeastward through the middle of Tokyo, diverging from the Kanda River “Koishikawa Bridge” and joining the Sumida River near Eitai Bridge, and flows mostly under the elevated Metropolitan Expressway.

The Nihonbashi River itself branches off into the Kamejima River, and there are three levels: the Kanda River, the Nihonbashi River, and the Kamejima River. If the Nihonbashi River is taken as the standard, the relationship is that of the parent Kanda River and the child Kamejima River.


The Kanda River and the Kamejima River also join the Sumida River as well as this Nihonbashi River. The Nihonbashi River and the Kamejima River are rivers that were formed by branching off, but finally join the Sumida River and become one river.
It is complicated and difficult to understand in writing, so the relationship between these four rivers is shown in the figure below. The relationship between Kanda River, Nihonbashi River, Kamejima River, and Sumida River is clear at a glance.

Tour of bridges by foot on the Nihombashi River

We ran through 24 bridges from 01_Misaki Bridge, the junction of Kanda River and Nihonbashi River, down Nihonbashi to 24_Toyomi Bridge, the confluence of Sumida River.

It takes less than an hour by car, but if you walk around feeling the earth with your own feet, you can see many things. The peace and happiness that has been passed down from the Edo period to the present day. The preciousness and importance of cherishing this space, culture and heritage and handing it over to the next generation.
This is a slow walk where you can feel and think about these things, enjoy the scenery, take pictures, and look for historical sites.

Nihonbashi River

When Tokugawa Ieyasu first arrived in Edo, the area around present-day Hibiya was an inlet coastline and was called Hibiya Inlet at the time.
The name Hibiya Inlet comes from the fact that many bamboo hibis (nori sodas: tree branches and bamboos erected in the sea for seaweed to attach to and cultivate seaweed) were erected for nori cultivation.

Ieyasu, as part of the maintenance and defense of Edo, cut down the mountain in what is now Surugadai and reclaimed this Hibiya Inlet. At that time, the Hiragawa River, which flowed into Hibiya Inlet, was connected to the outer moat of Edo Castle. This is the origin of the Nihonbashi River.

In the Edo period, the outer moat of Edo Castle surrounded the castle, starting from Horidome upstream of Kijiji-bashi Bridge and drawing the character “no”. The area from the upper reaches of Kijiji-bashi Bridge to the vicinity of Issekibashi Bridge overlaps with a part of the present Nihonbashi River.

The Nihonbashi River is characterized by the fact that the upper reaches of Horidome, the outer moat of the Meiji Era, were excavated to join the Kanda River, and that many of the bridges over the Nihonbashi River today were built as reconstruction projects after the Great Kanto Earthquake.

This page introduces the scenery of the 24 bridges over the Nihonbashi Bridge on foot and the 10 bridges from 15_Jyoban Bridge to 24_Toyomi Bridge where the bridge joins the Sumida River, as seen from a boat.

Turtle Island River

Kamejima-gawa River flows into Sumida-gawa River, and there are five bridges over Kamejima-gawa River: Reigan-bashi Bridge, Shin-kamejima-bashi Bridge, Kamejima-bashi Bridge, Takahashi Bridge, and Minami-Takahashi Bridge.

It divides the Nihonbashi River between 22_Kayabashi Bridge and 23_Minato Bridge. Kamejima River is a short river of around 1 km, but you can feel a lot of history of Edo.

Here are the views from the boats of the five bridges over this Turtle Island River and the two sluice gates upstream and downstream of the bridges.

Sumida River

The Sumida River branches off from the Arakawa River at the Shin-Iwabuchi floodgate in Kita-ku, Tokyo, and flows into the Shinkagishi River, Shakujii River, Kanda River, Nihonbashi River and other rivers along the way, finally flowing into Tokyo Bay. 23.5 km of the river, which was called the Okawa in the Edo period from Azuma Bridge downstream.
The Ookawabata is said to be the area on the right bank from Azuma-bashi Bridge to the Shin-ohashi Bridge area.

This area is also called the waterfront, and although there are many high-rise condominiums, there are also many parks and it is a relaxing place where time passes leisurely.
The pleasant sound of sightseeing boats and carriers coming and going along the Sumida River.
The Yurikamome, which flaps its wings in the sky or floats on the surface of the water.
On weekdays during lunch time, people eating lunch or taking a walk along the riverside.
In the evening, you can see residents walking or taking their dogs for a stroll.
After sunset, you can see the beautiful bridge lit up with lights and houseboats.
I was surprised and impressed to see such scenery in the big city of Tokyo.

Here are the views from the boats of two bridges over the Sumida River, the Sumida-Chuo Bridge and the Sumida-Eitaibashi Bridge.

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