Comparing Two Rivers: Tamagawa vs. Kanda

Every day, as I travel to and from Yokohama to Tokyo, I pass by two major rivers. One is Tamagawa River, which borders Kanagawa prefecture and Tokyo prefecture and the other is the Kanda River near school. I decided to choose two rivers to talk about in this blog post because they are complete opposites and I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast these two rivers that I see twice a day, every day. The Tamagawa River is surrounded by green fields on both sides with flower beds and trees everywhere. You can see joggers, kids and old couples taking a walk and enjoying the view. The water is blue and overall it is a very scenic and nature area. The air is clear, there’s nice wind and you can feel the nature surrounding you. There are quite a lot of wildlife living in and along the Tamagawa River as well, from carp to herons, it is filled with nature’s creatures.

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The second river I would like to talk about is the Kanda River. In comparison to the Tamagawa River, the Kanda River is not visually pleasing, polluted and no signs of wildlife. The color of the water is probably the biggest difference between the two rivers. The Kanda River is as green as the trees that surround it. It shocked me the first time I saw this river because of its mossy green color, I have never seen anything like it before. Besides the trees that reside on top of the concrete walls, there is no other sign of nature. The concrete walls make it look more like a canal rather than a river. I cannot imagine any form of life living in or around it. The river is tightly between a row of buildings and the Chuo line. Because this river runs through one of the most urban parts of Tokyo, I understand why it looks the way it does. It looks more manmade than a natural flowing river like the Tamagawa River. Because of this urban setting, the air that surrounds this river, the overall feeling is eerie and dull. Though mostly negative, the Kanda River actually has its moments. During the spring time, when the cherry blossoms start to bloom, the river is lined with beautiful cherry blossoms. This view takes away from the green and mossy river, but cherry blossom season is only a few weeks, so most of the year the Kanda River remains gloomy and sad.

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