Why did the chicken cross the road? We don’t know… but we do know why the ducks in Kyoto cross the road. To get to the Kamo River!
That’s what the ducks have been doing for the past decade or so, and this year they’ve completed the procession again with a record number of baby ducks in tow!
The Kamo River is the most renowned river in Kyoto Prefecture, loved by locals and tourists alike for its scenic views, especially in spring when the cherry blossom trees along the bank bloom into a delightful flurry of pink and white blossoms.
The river is also home to wild ducks, which used to breed and raise their young along the river where they reside. However, it is said that about a decade ago, the ducks of the Kamo River found their way to a pond located within the compounds of Youbouji, a temple situated about 700 meters away from the river, and somehow realized that the pond was a much safer and conducive environment to hatch and nurture their babies.
Since then, the ducks have returned to the temple annually to propagate, and when the baby ducks are approximately six weeks old, the mother then leads her ducklings back to the river on foot. This year, a total of 14 baby ducks were hatched on April 15, the biggest batch seen since they started making themselves comfortable in Youbouji’s pond.