This site uses affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Where Is Arashiyma Located and How to Get to Arashiyama from Kyoto

Arashiyama (Storm Mountain) is a district located on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan.

There are several options of getting to Arashiyama from Kyoto.

  • First of all, you can take Kyoto Bus #72 or 73 (Bus Stop C-6) from Kyoto Station and get off at Arashiyama. The cost of the bus ticket is 230 yen.
  • Or, you can take the local JR Train from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama, specifically, to Saga Arashiyma Station. The journey time is 10-15 minutes depending on whether you get rapid train or not. The cost of the train ticket is 240 yen. However, If you have a JR Pass, then the cost of your ticket will be covered by the pass.

Arashiyama Map with Location of 14 Top Things to Do in Arashiyama

Following is the map of Arashiyama. It will help you get to all of Arashiyama’s attractions:

Arashiyama Map

Map of 14 unmissable things to do in Arashiyama Park, Kyoto

Number 1

Take a Walk Through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

One of the top things to do in Arashiyama is to take a walk through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a beautiful lush and peaceful bamboo forest.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Soaring stalks of bamboo in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Kyoto

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Don’t miss a stroll through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It is a beautiful place!  When there is a light breeze, the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth letting in the dappled sunlight.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Make sure to stroll the paths lined endless rows of bamboos trees.

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The best time to walk through Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is when there is a light breeze. 

When Is the Best Time to Go to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is a very popular place! It is almost impossible to get any pictures without tourists in them.

However, if you go early in the morning, you will avoid large crowds and be able to find some solitude in this beautiful place.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Monks walking down a path in Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

It is super easy to get to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove from JR Saga Arashiyama Station. Once you exit the station, turn right and proceed towards the grove.

It is no more than a 10-15 minute walk from the train station.

The nice thing about Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is that it is completely free and you can visit at any time.

Number 2

Go for a Rickshaw Ride Through Arashiyama

Hands down, go for a rickshaw ride in Arashiyama! My recommendation is that you go through the Arashiyama bamboo forest path first and then, go through some of the famous Saga-Arashiyama’s villa landscapes.

What you need to know that the rickshaw rides in Arashiyama are not cheap. Be prepared to pay around 9,000 yen for two people for 30 minutes, or 17,500 yen for two people for 1-hour ride.

However, it is an awesome experience and you should not miss i!

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Go on a rickshaw ride through the bamboo forest path first and then, go through some of the famous Saga-Arashiyama’s villa landscapes.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Where to Find Rickshaw Rides in Arashiyama

Rickshaws are pretty much everywhere in Arashiyama. You will mostly see them transporting passengers through the bamboo forest.

However, there are a couple of stations along the main street in Arashiyama where you will see them all lined up waiting for passengers.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Rickshaws in Arashiyama waiting for passengers. 

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Number 3

Take a Walk Across Togetsukyo Bridge

Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark is the wooden Togetsukyo Bridge.

Some sources claim that Togetsukyo bridge spans the Katsura River. And, some sources say that it goes over the Oi River.

So, to clarify: the river is referred as the Oi River until it reaches Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. After it passes under Togetsukyo bridge, it is then referred to as the Katsura River.

It is believed that the bridge was first built in 836 AD, when the priest Dosho (a disciple of Kobo Daishi, founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism) was conducting construction work along the Oi River.

The current Togetsukyo Bridge was completed in 1934.

Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama

The wooden Togetsukyo Bridge is Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Togetsukyo Bridge is also known as the Moon Crossing Bridge, after Emperor Kameyama stated that the bridge appeared to stretch to the moon.

Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama

Togetsukyo Bridge is also known as the Moon Crossing Bridge.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama

If you are arriving at JR Saga Arashiyama Station, then head south towards Togetsukyo Bridge.

Continue south and you will reach Togetsukyo Bridge in about 10-15 minutes.

Number 4

Visit Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama

First of all, what you need to know, is that the hike up to Monkey Park Iwatayama in Arashiyama is fairly strenuous. It is a up the hill hike, at a steady incline.

It will take you about 25-30 minutes to reach the top of the mountain where Iwatayama Monkey Park is located.

My recommendation is to just take your time and rest along the way. Specifically, if you are hiking during summer months, make sure to have plenty of water with you and just take it easy.

Now, if you want to feed the monkeys, you can purchase some food for them at the small shop located at the entrance to the park. Then, you will need to enter a shack with wires on the windows. The monkeys will be hanging on the wires and begging for the food while the humans are on the inside.

Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama

The monkeys hanging on the wires and begging for the food while the humans are on the inside.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

So I need to honest here and say that I really do not  like the idea of feeding the monkeys and training them to beg for food.

When I visited the Jigokudani Snow Money Park located in the Nagano Prefecture on a day trip from Tokyo, it was an awesome better experience. First of all, the monkeys are free to roam and come down from the mountains during feeding times or to soak in the hot springs. Second, visitors are not allowed to feed the monkeys so that they do not beg for food but instead go around their monkey business like playing, grooming each other, or enjoying the hot springs.

So, if you are looking forward to seeing monkeys in Japan, then hands down, go and see Jigokudani Snow Monkeys.

Monkeys will be monkeys and they are adorable. So you will be able to get some pictures of them hanging around. Just be aware that they will be begging you for food.

Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama

Adorable monkeys at Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama.

Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama

You will be able to get some pictures of monkeys hanging around.

Now, the views of Kyoto from Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama are absolutely breathtaking!.

View of Kyoto from Mt Arashiyama

The views of Kyoto from Iwatayama Monkey Park are awsome!

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama

First of all, from JR Saga Arashiyama Station head south towards Togetsukyo Bridge. Next, cross the bridge and turn right.

At that point, you will see signage for Arashiyama Monkey Park. All in all, it is about 15-minute walk up to this point.

Next, you will need to hike up to the park for about 25-30 minutes.

You can visit Arashiyama Monkey Park any day of the week from 9 am until 5 pm (March 15th through September 30th), or until 4 pm (October 1st through March 14th).

The entrance ticket to Arashiyama Monkey Park is 550 yen for adults and 250 yen for children ages 4 to 15. Children younger than 4 can monkey-watch for free.

Don't Have Time to Read it Now?

Why Not Save Things to Do in Arashiyama to Your Pinterest Board!

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Number 5

Visit Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama

Tenryuji Temple was established in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji.

It is known that Takauji dedicated the temple to the memory of  Emperor Go-Daigo.

Both, shogun Ashikaga Takauji  and Emperor Go-Daigo, used to be good allies until Takauji turned against the emperor in a struggle for supremacy over Japan.

After the Emperor Go-Daigo passed away, Takauji built the temple to appease the former emperor’s spirits.

Tenryuji’s buildings were repeatedly lost in fires and wars over the centuries. Mostly, what we see today are buildings that date from the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

In 1994, Tenryuji Temple was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto“.

Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama

Tenryuji Temple was established in 1339 by the ruling shogun Ashikaga Takauji.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

There is a lot to see around the temple grounds. However, I think that you should visit:

  • Hatto – Dharma Hall
  • Kuri – Temple Living Quarters
  • Hojo – Abbot’s Quarters
  • Sogenchi Teien – Sogen Pond Garden

The first stop you should make is at Hatto-Dharma Hall at Tenryuji Temple.

The Hatto – Dharma Hall was used for sermons. Nowadays, it is used for important ceremonial functions.

In 1899 the Hatto’s paneled ceiling was adorned with a large painting of a cloud dragon by the Meiji-period artist Suzuki Shonen.

In 1997 the old cloud dragon was replaced with a new cloud dragon painting by the nihonga artist Kayama Matazo It was created to commemorate the 650th anniversary of the death of Tenryuji’s founder, Muso Soseki.

Unfortunately, the visitors are not allowed to take pictures of the famous cloud dragon painting.

Needless to say, the painting of the cloud dragon by Matazo Kayama is amazing!I recommend that you see it!

It represents a massive blue-grey dragon that swirls out of the clouds and stares down at you no matter where you stand in the room. This effect, known in Japanese as happo-nirami – all direction gaze, symbolizes the all-seeing eyes with which the dragon protects Buddhism.

Next, make sure to stop by Kuri – Temple Living Quaters.

Inside the Kuri’s entrance hall is a large painting of Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk who, according to Zen tradition, introduced the Zen teachings to China 1,500 years ago.

The painting was done by the late Rev. Hirata Seiko, Chief Abbot of Tenryu-ji.

Tenryuji Temple

The painting was done by the late Rev. Hirata Seiko, Chief Abbot of Tenryu-ji.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Next, make your way to Hojo – Abbot’s Quaters.

The Hojo is made up of two sections, the Daihojo – Large Hojo and the separate Kohojo – Small Hojo, both of which are connected to the Kuri.

The Daihojo, Tenryu-ji’s largest building, has beautiful wide verandas. The ones on the back face the Sogen Pond. And, it is a perfect spot to take a short break here.

In addition, it is a great place to take a look at another large cloud dragon painted on the sliding doors by the artist Wakasa Butsugai.

Tenryuji Temple

Cloud dragon painted on the sliding doors by the artist Wakasa Butsugai.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Finally, make sure to stop by Sogen Pond Garden.

Unlike the Tenryuji’s temple buildings, Sogen Pond Garden created by the famous garden designer Muso Soseki nearly 700 years ago, survived the centuries in its original form.

Notably, it was designated by the Japanese Government as a Site of Specific Historic and Scenic Importance.

Sogenchi Teien – Sogen Pond Garden was designed as a ‘strolling pond garden’. It means that the the path surrounding the pond takes the visitors around the pond and allows them to appreciate the scenery from a variety of perspectives.

In addition, it employs a ‘borrowed scenery technique’ –  shakkei, which means that the surrounding scenery is incorporated into the garden.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Sogen Pond Garden created by the famous garden designer Muso Soseki nearly 700 years ago, survived the centuries in its original form.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama

First of all, Tenryuji Temple is no more than a 10-minute walk from JR Saga Arashiyama Station.

Once you exit the station, go west.

After no more than a 10-minute stroll, the temple complex will be right in front of you.

Tenryuji Temple is open from 8:30 am till 5:30 pm and last admission is at 5 pm. However, from October 21 through March 20, the opening hours are 8:30 am till 5 pm and last admission is at 4:30 pm.

The entrance ticket to the garden is 500 yen.  If you wish to tour the garden and the Tenryuji buildings, then there is an additional charge of 300 yen. And, finally, if you want to see the painting of the Cloud Dragon, then there is a separate entrance ticket with costs an additional 500 yen.

Now, the The Dharma Hal, where the painting is located, is open on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays only. And, the opening hours are from 9 am till 5 pm. However, during winter months (October through March), the opening hours are 9 am till 4 pm.

Number 6

Stop by Nonomiya-jinja Shrine

Nonomiya-jinja Shrine is a small shrine but it has a fascinating history and it is totally worth the stop. Of all the things to do in Arashiyama, this place had a special charm for me.

The shrine was formerly known as a purification shrine for imperial princesses appointed as priestesses for Ise Grand Shrine.

Emperors often sent their unmarried daughters to serve as high priestesses at the Grand Shrine of Ise. However, before they could  acquire a status of a high priestess, they had to spend one to three years of their lives undergoing a purification process at Nonomiya-jinja Shrine.

Despite being a small shrine, Nonomiya-Jinja is very popular. It is believed that a visit to this temple can help single women and men with the matchmaking processes. In addition, mothers-to-be pray here for a safe delivery.

Nonomiya-jinja Shrine in Arashiyama

Despite being a small shrine, Nonomiya-Jinja is very popular. It is believed that a visit to this temple can help single women and men with the matchmaking processes.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Nonomiya-jinja Shrine in Arashiyama

Nonomiya-jinja shrine is located right next to Tenryuji Temple.

So, right after you are done visiting Tenryuji Temple, exit the temple grounds and continue west for no more than 5 minutes before you reach Nonomiya-jinja Shrine.

Number 7

Take a Tour of Okochi Sanso Villa and Garden

Of all the things to do in Arashiyama, visiting Okochi Sanso Villa and strolling through the garden is one of my favorite things to do.

Okochi Sanso Villa is a stunning residence of the former Japanese actor Okochi Denjiro.

Okochi Denjiro was born on February 5, 1898 in Iwaya-mura, Chikujo-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan as Masuo Oobe. He was an actor and writer, known for No Regrets for Our Youth (1946), Sanshiro Sugata (1943) and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945). He died on July 19, 1962.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Okochi Denjiro was born on February 5, 1898 in Iwaya-mura, Chikujo-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan as Masuo Oobe.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

He was an actor and writer, known for No Regrets for Our Youth (1946), Sanshiro Sugata (1943) and The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail (1945).

Take your time and explore the villa and the surrounding areas around the villa.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Okochi Sanso Villa is a stunning residence of the former Japanese actor Okochi Denjiro.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Okochi Sanso Villa is a stunning residence of the former Japanese actor Okochi Denjiro.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

However, what really should deserve your full attention is an exquisite garden. The garden is simply manicured to perfection! It has lots of intriguing pathways and several stunning views of the mountains.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

The garden is simply manicured to perfection! It has lots of intriguing pathways and several stunning views of the mountains.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Okochi Sanso Villa and Garden

Okochi Sanso Villa is located west of Nonomiya-jinja shrine and west Tenryuji Temple. It will take you no more than 10 minutes to reach Okochi Sanso Villa and Garden if you are walking from Tenryuji Temple to Nonomiya-jinja Shrine.

You can tour Denjiro’s mossy, manicured gardens daily from 9 am until 5 pm. The admission is 1,000 yen and includes matcha green tea and cake.

Number 8

Explore Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama

Once you visit Jojakkoji Temple, you will agree that it is one of the best things to do in Arashiyama!

Jojakko-ji Temple is nestled in the slope of Mount Ogura. This Nichiren sect temple was opened in the late Momoyama period (14th century) by a monk who had used it as his retirement residence.

First of all, you enter the grounds of Jojakkoji Temple through Sanmon Gate, which is the main gate. It is built with rectangular timbers arranged in a beautiful lattice work. The gate was renovated in the late Edo period (1603-1868).

Jojakkoji Temple

You enter the grounds of Jojakkoji Temple through Sanmon Gate, which is the main gate.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Next, you continue on to the next gate – Niomon Gate, which served originally as the south entrance to the Guest Hall.

Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama

Niomon Gate served originally as the south entrance to the Guest Hall.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Finally, you will reach the Main Hall. This Main Hall was originally a Guest House of Momoyama Castle and it was moved to Jojakko-Ji Temple.

Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama

The Main Hall was originally a Guest House of Momoyama Castle and it was moved to Jojakko-Ji Temple.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

I want to encourage you to continue hiking up the mountain. On your way, you will reach Tahoto Pagoda (Two-storied Pagoda).

At this point, you are almost at the top of the mountain. You will be rewarded with the most magnificent views of the Sagano area.

On the way down make sure to stop by the Monks’ Quarters.

Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Jojakkoji Temple grounds in Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Jojakkoji Temple in Arashiyama Kyoto

Jojakkoji Temple is located no more than a 10-15 minute walk from the Bamboo Grove going north.

However, if you are heading from Okocho Sansa Villa and Garden then Jojakkoji Temple will be your next stop going north.

Jojakkoji Temple is open daily from 9 am till 5 pm. The admission fee is 300 yen.

Number 9

Head to Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple was founded in the 9th century by the monk Kodo Daishi who placed stone statues for the souls of the dead. Today the temple is home to thousand of stone statues.

There is definitely a somber, reverent atmosphere here. You can only take pictures from the distance.

If you have a camera with a good lens, then you will be able to take some great pictures of the stone statues.

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple is home to thousand of stone statues.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

And, the added bonus is the most beautiful, quiet bamboo grove.

Here, you will finally be able to stroll around all by yourself. Strangely enough, the crowds of tourists are completely unaware of this beautiful place.

I honestly feel that the bamboo forest surrounding Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple is Arashiyama’s hidden gem!

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

A beautiful bamboo forest surrounding Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple.  

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

Strangely enough, the crowds of tourists are completely unaware of this beautiful place.

Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple

I think the bamboo grove surrounding Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple is Arashiyama’s hidden gem.

How to Get to Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple in Arashiyama

First of all, from the last location, continue north.

You will pass Sagano Doll House Museum and shortly, you will reach Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street.

Once you reach Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street, turn left and walk for no more than 5-10 minutes.

The Temple grounds will be on your left.

The opening hours are form until 9 am till 4:30 pm March through November and 9 am till 3:30 pm December through February.

The entrance ticket is 500 yen.

Number 10

Take a Stroll Along Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

Saga Toriimoto Street has been preserved in the style of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

Saga Toriimoto Street has been preserved in the style of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Many of the buildings are traditional machiya (townhouses) that served as private residences but have since been converted into shops and restaurants.

Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

Many of the buildings are traditional machiya (townhouses).

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

Many of the buildings are traditional machiya (townhouses) that have been converted into shops and restaurants.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

The buildings have been converted into shops and restaurants.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street

When you exit Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple continue east.

You will be strolling along Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street in about 10 minutes after you exit the temple.

Number 11

Take a Ride on Sagano Romantic Train

Sagano Romantic Train travels from Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station.

Sagano Romantic Train

Sagano Romantic Train travels from Saga Torokko Station to Kameoka Torokko Station.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

It is a beautiful 7 km (25 minutes ) ride along Hozukyo Ravine. You will be going through tunnels, along Hozukyo River, and through forests.

The ride is fun no matter what time of the year you are visiting!

Moreover, the train goes at a leisurely pace, which will allow you to take plenty of pictures.

Sagano Romantic Train in Arashiyama

Sagano Romantic Train goes through tunnels, along Hozukyo River, and through forests.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Sagano Romantic Train in Arashiyama

Now, you can board the train at Saga Torokko Station, which is next to JR Saga Arashiyama Station.

After the train ride, when you reach Kameoka Trokko Station, you can hop back on the return train and get back to Arashiyama, or you can walk to JR Umahori Station and catch a train back to Kyoto.

What you need to know is that the trains leave every hour between 9 am and 5 pm.  However, Sagano Romantic Train does not operate on Wednesdays. In addition, it stops operating from the end of December through the end of February.

It is a good idea to purchase the train tickets in advance, since the train is very popular!

You can reserve the tickets through JR West online reservation service  starting one month prior to the train ride.

The one-way train ticket is 620 yen for and adult and 310 yen for a child (ages 6-12).

Intrepid’s Tip:

Where to sit on Sagano Romantic Train? The best car is The Rich Car. It is an open air car.

However, the advance tickets for The Rich Car are not available. There are only same day sales!

My recommendation is to go to Saga Torokko Station as soon as you arrive in Arashiyama and purchase the tickets. Or, you can exchange the tickets you bought in advance for “The Rich” Car tickets (if available).

Number 12

Join Arashiyama Cormorant Fishing Tour

If you are visiting between July 1st  and September 23rd, you should look into a cormorant fishing (ukai) tour.

It is a traditional fishing method which uses trained cormorants called ‘Umiu’ to catch fish.

The fisherman use large flaming torches to attract fish. They make cormorants dive under the water and catch the fish by swallowing them. The fish is kept in the cormorant’s throat and later on retrieved by the fishermen.

This traditional fishing method has almost disappeared, and these days, ukai is held mainly as an attraction for tourists.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Ukai is a traditional fishing method which uses trained cormorants called ‘Umiu’ to catch fish.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

The first cormorant fishing tour leaves at 7 pm, followed by the second tour scheduled at 8 pm.

The cormorant fishing tours are expensive, but totally worth the cost. Expect to pay 1,800 yen for a single adult ticket.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

This traditional fishing method has almost disappeared, and these days, ukai is held mainly as an attraction for tourists.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

How to Get to Arashiyama Cormorant Fishing Tour

If you are arriving at JR Saga Arashiyama Station, then head south towards Togetsukyo Bridge.

Continue south and you will reach Togetsukyo Bridge in about 10-15 minutes.  The boats are located right next to Togetsukyo Bridge.

Number 13

Attend Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination Festival

If you are visiting Arashiyama in December, then it is a perfect timing to attend Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination.

Notably, Kyoto’s Hanatouro Festival is held twice a year. During the month of March it is held in Higashiyama area and in December, it is scheduled in Arashiyama. By the way, Hanatouro means “ path with flower and light”.

During Hanatouro illumination Festival in Arashiyama, the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge, the Bamboo Grove, and the foothills of the surrounding mountains are all lit up. It is a visually stunning sight!

Hanatouro Illumination Festival in Arashiyama

If you are visiting Arashiyama in December, then it is a perfect timing to attend Arashiyama Hanatouro Illumination.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Hanatouro means “ path with flower and light”.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Make sure not to miss Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It looks absolutely stunning illuminated at night.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Hanatouro means “ path with flower and light”.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove illuminated during Hanatouro Festival. 

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Bamboo Grove looks absolutely amazing all lit up during the Illumination Festival. 

How to Get to Hanatouro Illumination Festival

If you are arriving at JR Saga Arashiyama Station, then head south towards Togetsukyo Bridge.

Continue south and you will reach Togetsukyo Bridge in about 10-15 minutes. You will get great views of the bridge and the mountains.

Then head north to the Bamboo Grove. It is no more than a 10-minute walk from the bridge and you will be rewarded with awesome views of the illuminated Bamboo Grove.

Number 14

Go on Hozugawa River Boat Ride

Hozugawa River Boat Ride is an awesome boat ride on Hozugawa River that takes you on  2-hour journey (16 kilometers) from Tanba-Kameoka all the way to Arashiyama in Kyoto.

The scenery along the way is absolutely breathtaking!

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

The scenery along the boat ride is absolutely breathtaking. 

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Hozugawa River Boat Ride is amazing! Do not miss it!

Things to Do in Arashiyama

However, one of the highlights of this boat ride is to see how the 3-person crew navigates the boat through some rapids using long bamboo sticks.

Each crew member has a distinct role!

The boat person at the bow is the sao-sashi, and their job is to use the long pole and push the boat forward and adjust the direction. The kai-hiki uses the oar and acts as the engine. At the stern of the boat is the kaji-tori who operates the rudder to navigate the ship.

The most important thing is for the three-person crew to work as one.

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

The 3-person crew navigates the boat through some rapids using long bamboo sticks.

Things to Do in Arashiyama

Intrepid’s Tip:

What you need to know is that you should combine the Hozugawa River Boat Ride with the Sagano Romantic Train Trip, as they both run in the same area. You can take the Sagano Romantic Train one way and the Hozugawa River Boat Trip back, or vise versa.

How to Get to Hozugawa River Boat Ride

From Kyoto Station, take a 20-minute train ride to JR Kameoka Station. Then, you can either take a short bus ride (ticket cost is 160 yen) or a 10-minute walk to the Hozugawa River Boat Ride boarding site.

Hozugawa River Boat Rides start from 9:00 AM and cost 4,100 yen for adults and 2,700 yen for children four years of age to elementary school students.

Intrepid Scout's Pointers for Things to Do in Arashiyama

Now, this is quite a list of things to do in Arashiyama! What if you only have one day in Arashiyama? What do you do? Here are my top things to do in Arashiyama that you should add to your Arashiyama itinerary.

  • Hands down, one of the top things to do in Arashiyama is to take a walk through Arashiyama Bamboo Gove. It is absolutely stunning! Make sure to get there as early in the morning as possible to avoid the crowds and capture some awesome pictures.
  • Next, visit Tenryuji Temple and stroll through the wonderful temple grounds. And, check out the stunning garden.
  • Lastly, head to Jojakkoji Temple. The temple grounds are beautiful and if you are up to it, then hike all the way to the top of the hill for the most spectacular views of Kyoto.

Did You Find Things to Do in Arashiyama Useful?

Why Not Save It to Your Pinterest Board!

Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Kyoto? Are you going to visit Arashiyama?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process with your trip to Kyoto!

Comments:

43 thoughts on “14 Unmissable Things to Do in Arashiyama, Kyoto


2019-09-10

I’ve just visited here! The bamboo forest was amazing! Great post ?

    2019-09-12

    Hi Hannah!
    Thank you for your comment! I am so glad you got to visit Arashiyama. It is a great place to explore.
    Good luck in your travels!
    Anna

dansontheroad
2019-09-19

We only did Sagano Romantic Train, Bamboo Forest and Tenryu-ji while at Arashiyama. Such a serene place and I would love to climb up Jojakkoji Temple to catch the view from Mount Ogura next time!

    2019-09-25

    Hey Dan!
    Thank you for your comment! There is so much to do in Arashiyama that it is hard to get it all done in one day. Maybe you can go back and re-visit one day?

2019-10-02

Oh wow, such an exotic place! This must have been kind of a dream come true to visit this magical fairytale 🙂

And may I just say, I absolutly adore your blog, you have found a great way to tell your stories! 🙂

    2019-10-02

    Thank you, Ann! So very kind of you!

Sarah Wilson
2019-10-02

Didn’t have enough time to visit Arashiyama on my last trip to Japan. From these suggestions, I wish I had. Would love to visit the Bamboo Grove. I always do touristy stuff early too to avoid crowds.

    2019-10-02

    Well, now there is a reason for you to go back! It will be all worth it!

2019-10-02

Wow, there certainly is a lot to do here. Did you do this all in a day? Was this combined with a multi-city vacation? Thanks for sharing this detailed list. I like all the details that you took the time to share, especially the prices and the hours of operation.

    2019-10-02

    It is a list of all the possibilities worth looking into. However, I got it all done in one day. The distances are all walk-able and the sites do not take a lot of time.
    I always try to include the opening hours and the cost. It helps other travelers plan better trips. Thank you for your comment!

2019-10-02

I wish I had this guide when I visited Kyoto, I had no idea the bamboo forest was THAT CLOSE and I missed it 🙁 next time right?! great post

    2019-10-02

    Oh no! Arashiyama is great for a visit while in Kyoto. As you said, next time!

2019-10-02

Great list! There is heaps and heaps of useful information here for itinerary planning!

    2019-10-02

    Thank you so much, Melissa!

2019-10-02

All the bamboo really surprised me. It’s beautiful. And I would love to walk across the Moon Crossing Bridge!

    2019-10-02

    Sharon, the entire Arashiyama area is worth a visit. Bamboo forest is a highlight, but besides the forest, there is so much to do!

2019-10-02

That bamboo forest would be worth getting up early for. Bet it was fabulous to wander around. I’d love to take my watercolors and try and capture it.

    2019-10-02

    It must be done early in the morning. Otherwise, it gets very crowded. It really is one of those unmissable places!

2019-10-02

Never had the willing of visiting Kyoto but, it looks so romantic.
Thanks for the post 🙂

    2019-10-03

    Thank you for your comment, Agnese! Kyoto is a great place to explore. There is so much, it will keep you busy for days. And, don’t miss Arashiyama!

Kakush Muhavi
2019-10-03

The rickshaws look quiet interesting. I wonder how long the tour takes. I love the bamboo forest too, I would not mind going there on a walking trail.

    2019-10-03

    The rickshaw ride can be 30-minute affair or you can go for longer rides. They are fun, but expensive.

2019-10-03

I went to Japan many years ago but didn’t make it here, and never heard about it before now. Wow, this looks beautiful.I was in Kyoto though and managed to get through that hole in the giant wood column which apparently was good… 😉

    2019-10-03

    Hey Heather!
    Would it be possible that you are referring to Nara? And if so, wow, I am impressed!

      2019-10-03

      Yes ! I went to Kyoto and Nara. There’s a wooden Buddha and I remember crawling through this small hole to see if I’d find love our something like that lol!

        2019-10-03

        Ha ha ha! You are amazing! I was not brave enough to crawl through this narrow opening. I saw a couple of people get stuck in it. It is part of the experience and I hope it brought you some luck.

          2019-10-03

          Lol thanks! It was years ago. I’d probably get stuck in it now but yes I am sure it brought me luck and made someone laugh that day. Or I hope so because really you have to be a bit crazy to crawl through that thing! ??

          2019-10-03

          Crazy in a good way! and, it is what we will remember down the road!

          2019-10-03

          That’s so true!

nancywill2017
2019-10-03

I spent an entire summer in Japan during college. My biggest regret is not making it to Kyoto. Someday I’ll go back. It looks so amazing!

    2019-10-03

    Oh, lucky you! That must have been an awesome experience. And, as you said – Kyoto next time!

      2019-10-03

      You will love it! I spent numerous hours feeding them and taking their pictures, instead of exploring Nara.

2019-10-03

Those bamboo forests look amazing, my mum used to have a small bamboo plant in the garden and it sounded amazing rustling in the wind, I bet this sounds phenominal. What a peaceful place it looks.

    2019-10-03

    Hey Becki! Thank you for your comment! I loved Arashiyama’s Bamboo Forest. It is a serene place and when the sun and a little wind hits the grove, it really becomes magical.

2019-10-03

You are absolutely spot on with Arashiyama. Brought back many happy memories of my stay in Japan. Great tips.

2019-11-04

Very well presented post. Loved it. Japan has always been on our list. Saving your post for future reference.

    2019-11-05

    Thank you, Sana, for your comment!

Kakush Muhavi
2019-11-07

Great and detailed post. Japan is truly a hidden gem.

    2019-11-11

    Thank you!

Aim Patrick
2020-05-17

I was there in April 2017, only knew about the bamboo grove, which I loved and the monkey park, which I declined to visit. Thanks for all the info. Next trip to Japan in 2021.

    2020-05-18

    Great! I am glad you found it useful. Good luck with your next trip to Japan!

2020-05-19

Hi Anna, this is Anna too. Great read and this piece is so informative.
Our family has also caught the travel bug and can’t wait for the lock down to be over.

    2020-05-20

    Hello Anna!
    Thank you so much. I am glad you found it useful.
    I know! I can’t wait to start exploring again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The company processes your data to facilitate the publication and management of comments. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, deletion and objection, among others, according to our Privacy policy.