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6 recommended spots in Arashiyama, one of the most popular sightseeing areas in Kyoto (Kyoto)

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

What is Arashiyama?

Located in the western part of Kyoto City, Arashiyama is one of the most scenic spots in Kyoto. It is a popular sightseeing area in Kyoto that has been loved since ancient times as a scenic spot where visitors can enjoy the elegant scenery in each of the four seasons: cherry blossoms in spring, greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and snow in winter.



Six recommended sightseeing spots in Arashiyama


  • Togetsu Bridge

When one thinks of Arashiyama, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is the Togetsu Bridge. The Togetsu Bridge is a 155-meter-long wooden bridge (the piers are made of reinforced concrete) that spans the Katsura River. In spring, rows of cherry trees bloom along the river, and in autumn, Arashiyama turns bright red with autumn leaves in the background, offering a variety of views from season to season.


  • Bamboo grove path

This 400-meter-long path is planted with bamboo groves that grow densely on both sides of the path as if covering the sky. The life force emanating from the verdant bamboos, the sunlight filtering through the gaps between the bamboos, and the refreshing sound of the breeze create a magical atmosphere.


  • Tenryu-ji Temple

Tenryu-ji Temple is one of the most popular spots in Arashiyama and is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the "Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". Tenryu-ji Temple covers a vast area, the highlight of which is the garden called "Sogen-ike Garden. The natural beauty of Arashiyama spreads out in the background of the garden, and its depth and grandeur are breathtaking. The "Dragon and Cloud" painted on the ceiling of the Dharma Hall is also worth seeing.


  • Sagano Trolley Train

The Sagano Trolley Train is a sightseeing trolley train with classic art deco style cars that runs on abandoned railway tracks. It is a very popular attraction, running 7.3 km one way through the nature along the Hozugawa River valley. Some of the cars are open cars with no windows, so you can feel the nature of Arashiyama on your skin. At scenic spots during the ride, the speed is slowed down so that visitors can take pictures while enjoying the natural beauty of the area in a relaxed manner. The best season is autumn! From the train windows, you can see the autumn leaves of the Hozugawa River valley, which turn bright red all over the area.


  • Hozu River Rafting

This is a thrilling attraction that takes about 2 hours to travel down the 16-km mountain stream from Kameoka upstream to Arashiyama. The Hozu River has been in operation for more than 1,000 years since the time of the Nagaokakyo Capital as a key water transportation system. The thrill of being swept down the river by the rapids through the gaps between strange rocks and monstrous stones is a powerful experience! The skillful maneuvering of the boatman as he slips between the rocks is also a sight to behold! You can also enjoy the seasonal scenery of Arashiyama: cherry blossoms in spring, fresh greenery in summer, autumn leaves in fall, and snow in winter. We also recommend taking the trolley train up the river and then taking a boat down the Hozu River.


  • Arashiyama Monkey Park

Arashiyama Monkey Park is the most relaxing spot in Arashiyama. More than 100 wild Japanese monkeys live here. All the monkeys are given names, and during the birth season from May to July, you may be lucky enough to see a cute baby monkey with round eyes. If you purchase food, you can feed them over the fence. The Monkey Park is located at the top of Mt. Iwata, 160 meters above sea level, and although it requires a 20-minute hike, it offers a spectacular view of the city of Kyoto.



Photo cooperation: Kyoto Free Photography

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