Exploring the Tama River

Winding down from the high mountains of Yamanashi Prefecture into Tokyo Bay is the Tama River (多摩川 Tama-gawa).  At 138 km (85.75 miles) long, it’s one of the longest rivers in Japan and one of two rivers (the other is the Sumida River) that runs through Tokyo.

The river flows near the dividing line between Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture.

Tama River |    hirotomo

The banks of the river are popular picnic spots for families, couples, and friends.  For those who want to exercise, a running track and a bike path between Denenchofu and Haneda also travels the length of the river. Or you may want to kayak in its waters instead.

As you follow the river down to the bay, you’ll be treated to various scenes, bridges, shrines, parks, and others. For example, the Tama River Bridge can be spotted along the way, as well as fields where people play sports such as rugby and baseball.  Seseragi Park and the Toshiba Science Museum are also in the area.

Tama riverside. | ajari

Then there’s also the fishing. The river is home to a variety of fish: trout, salmon, carp and many other fish.  Different birds also live off the river: ducks, kingfishers, Japanese White-eyes, and White Wagtails.

This does not mean the river has never had its share of problems. The Tama River used to be polluted, but thanks to the efforts of the Japanese in controlling the pollution, such as designating the river a wildlife protection zone and implementing fish ladders, life has at least partly returned to the river.

Yet, there are still threats to Tama River’s future. Non-native tropical fish such as piranhas have found their way into the river and thrived.  This is most probably due to the rise in water temperature caused by global warming.

Reflections along Tama River. | mako10

Effects from the radiation fallout of the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant also still pose a danger.

If you are looking for a spot to unwind in Tokyo, Tama River is a relaxing and scenic place to visit. It’s one of the more simple, pleasant places to go to in the metropolis.