Water has been elemental to my understanding and experience of Tokyo. I’ve followed countless rivers, written about Tokyo’s water infrastructure, and have been obsessed with Tokyo’s underground rivers. One of the more pleasant bodies of water is Senzoku Nagare 洗足流れ. In the following map, we see that the Senzoku Nagare flows south from Senzokuike 洗足池 (map), emptying into the Nogawa 呑川 river near the impressive Ikegami Honmon-ji 池上本門寺 temple complex. For reference, Denenchofu is shown to the west.
Senzoku Nagare is not a river (kawa 川) it is far too narrow. Instead, the word is nagare 流れ meaning flow/current/stream. Nagare is actually used in one of the most beloved pop songs of the 20th century, Misora Hibari’s Kawa no nagare no yō ni 川の流れのように:
Walking along this stream is an intimate experience; the roads are narrow, the houses are close-by, and the bridges are miniature. The water is remarkably clear,making the carp and other fish easy to spot.
The neighborhood is peaceful, even by Tokyo standards; I was impressed by these shoes being left outside to dry, and example of a Tokyo ‘outdoor closet‘.
In such a pleasant environment, I felt mildly guilty when, on a dare, I crawled through a culvert (below). I did not encounter any carp under the bridge.
The source of Senzoku Nagare is the Senzokuike pond, just feet away from Senzokuike Station:
- Senzoku Nagare Wikipedia (Japanese)
- View of Mt. Fuji from Ikegami Honmon-ji 池上本門寺
- Senzoku Nagare is included in the “Sakura Walk” promoted by the Ota-ku website
- THE TOKYO FILES: RIVERS & GREEN ROADS 東京の川や緑道: exploring Tokyo’s river, streams, and canals
- Walking on water: the underground rivers of Tokyo 東京の地下河川や運河の地図
- Cherry blossom viewings in Tokyo: A small sample of sakura
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