Hori-kawa River (Kyoto Prefecture) (堀川 (京都府))

The Hori-kawa River, which runs through Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture, is included in the Yodo-gawa River system.


The Hori-kawa River originates in the east foot of Mt. Funaoka in Kita Ward (Kyoto City), but the river around there is forced to flow underground using a conduit and no water flow can be seen on the ground. The flow appears on the ground in the south of Imadegawa-dori Street and then the river flows southwards along the east side of Horikawa-dori Street. Ichijo Modori-bashi Bridge on Ichijo-dori Street exists in this section. The river is forced to flow underground again in the south of Oshikoji-dori Street in front of Nijo-jo Castle, flowing almost entirely under Horikawa-dori Street except barely appearing on the ground in the east of Nishi Hongwan-ji Temple. It is freed from the underground conduit in the west of Kamitobaguchi Station of the Kintetsu Kyoto Line, and then is merged into the Kamo-gawa River (Yodo-gawa River system) immediately. In fact, little water flows except the area immediately before being merged into the Kamo-gawa River.


It is supposed that, before construction of Heian-kyo was completed, natural water flows existed in the former Karasuma valley (古烏丸谷) (around present Karasuma-dori Street) and in the former Horikawa valley (古堀川谷) (around present Horikawa-dori Street).
When Heian-kyo was constructed, these rivers were converted into a canal along Horikawa-koji Street, which is the origin of the Hori-kawa River
In addition, the Nishi-Hori-kawa River (West Hori-kawa River) (the present Tenjin-gawa River) (Kyoto City) was also created at the position symmetrical to the Hori-kawa River across Suzaku-oji Street. In the Heian period, this river was used for supplying water to nobles' gardens as well as for carrying cargoes. Later, the water was also used for agricultural purposes and for Yuzen dyeing.

The water flow has almost completely stopped corresponding to the improvement of the sewage system after WW II.

An idea to improve the water environment of the Hori-kawa River

Kyoto City promotes a plan in which a water park will be constructed by restoring water flow in the not-covered area of the Hori-kawa River between Imadegawa-dori Street and Nijo-jo Castle. In the plan, water from a branch of the lake Biwa canal is siphoned under the Kamo-gawa River, and is supplied to the area through a channel provided under Shimei-dori Street and Horikawa-dori Street. The water is discharged into the Nishi Takase-gawa River via the outer moat of Nijo-jo castle. It is planned that the work will be started in the fiscal 2002 and will be completed in fiscal 2010.

[Original Japanese]