Over the Kamagawa (aka the Kama River; "kawa" means river, and gets pronounced "gawa" in certain combinations), there's a regular, unscheduled air show. The show is dominated by Tonbe or Black Kite (Milvus migrans). When I think of kites, I tend to think of relatively smallish raptors, but these guys are huge, impressively large, even. (Click the picture to see a bigger size.)
They're also beautiful in flight, soaring over, stooping, and lording over us groundlings. The first time I walked along the river, I didn't have my camera along because I find that having my camera along changes my focus and interactions. Sometimes, I like to go cameraless, and have that experience, and sometimes I like to have the camera along, take pictures, and use it to focus my attention differently.
On my most recent trip to Kyoto, mostly to visit the imperial palace (and also to walk along the river again), I actually took my camera AND both lenses (the regular and the telephoto). I love the telephoto for trying to take bird pictures, but for inside areas, for buildings, and for shots where I'm trying to get the sense of the scene, the regular lens works better. (But usually, I'm too lazy to carry both.) I was glad as I walked along the river after visiting the palace to have my telephoto, because the birds are just so amazing!