Walking the Meguro River in Tokyo

In January 2020, I walked most of the length of the Meguro River (目黒川) in Tokyo. I had already been along it virtually, using Google Earth and Street View, but I needed to do it for real. The reason for having investigated it was that I had included it within my latest novel Tokyo 20/20 Vision. Although the scene had originally been planned for other waterways in Tokyo, upon further research, I decided that the Meguro River would work better. The draft of the relevant parts of the book had already been written – now I just needed to check that it worked. As I was going with this goal in mind, I didn’t take a huge number of photographs. Nor did I worry about going when the river would be at its most photogenic (such as when it is lit up for the cherry blossom festival – which gets discussed in the novel itself). I went on a relatively cold January early morning before going on to meetings.

In terms of a starting point, I took the train to Shinagawa and then walked down to the river front from there. Although not totally clear on the map below due to there being a road (albeit underwater/underground – as discussed in the novel), the river ends, but my walk of it started, just above the ‘w’ of Shinagawa Police Station in the bottom right corner of the map. The river continues to close to Ikejiri-Ohashi station in the top left of the map. The final part (beyond a large road and overhead-expressway) is perhaps the greenest – but as this was not relevant to my novel and I had to get to a meeting, I didn’t actually walk this part.

It is very easy to follow the river as there are paths or (narrow) roads along its entire length – although sometimes only on one side.

Where the river ends – hard to believe that there’s a road underneath this too

The above obstacles hadn’t looked so big on the pictures I had seen, so I was glad to have seen them myself so I could make some alterations to the book to take account of them.

The view up to Naka-Meguro Station – also see my post on the Naka-Meguro Train Crash Memorial, which is also referred to in Tokyo 20/20 Vision & is marked by the orange pointer in the map above.

Another obstacle to overcome

All in all it was a very enjoyable walk & one which I will probably do again one day – though perhaps at a different time of day or year. See also my post about walking the Yamanote Line.

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