The Kawabata Street Ghost
On a cold October night in 1969, a taxi driver was hailed on Kawabata Street close to Kojinguchi by a young woman. Without giving it a second thought, the driver pulled over and the woman climbed into the taxi. She directed him to take her north further along the river to Midorogaike Pond located in the Kita Ward of Kyoto City (in the Kitayama area). Pictured below, dark clouds gater over the Kawabata Street taxi rank at Demachiyanagi.
Although the driver found it unusual that the lone woman wished to visit the pond so late at night, he did not question her, after-all, to him she was just another customer. There were houses around the pond so there was no reason not to believe that she lived somewhere close-by. Throughout the journey the woman remained silent, which was not out of the ordinary. When the taxi finally arrived at Midorogaike the driver turned around to the back seat to collect his fare only to discover, much to his astonishment, that the woman had vanished and where she had been sitting was nothing but a wet patch on the seat.
There are some reports that her description was that of the typical Japanese ghost dressed in white with long black hair. There is though no definite evidence to corroborate this and it may well be just an embellishment of the story to make it even more terrifying than it already is.
Looking further into the background it was found that a young woman who had lived near the pond did in fact die that day in Kyoto University Hospital, which is close to Kawabata Street and Kojinguchi where the taxi driver picked up the woman. Maybe the description of the white clothing was true. Could she have been wearing a hospital gown? Could this have been the ghost of the woman returning to her home not aware that she was dead?
There have been further reports of sightings. Many taxi drivers have stated their refusal to take anyone who requests that route at night just in case their passenger turns out to be the Kawabata Midorogaike Ghost!
This ghostly tale appears, along with many others, in the HIDDEN PATHS companion book PARANORMAL KANSAI - Mysteries & Unexplained Stories of West Japan (available from all regions of Amazon in paperback and digital formats).