At the base of Kyoto’s western mountains, this is the second most important sight-seeing district after Higashiyama. Poet’s hermitages, noblemen’s villas, esoteric mountain temples and unspoiled nature are among the many attractions to be found in the old capital.
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
The beautiful bamboo forest is one of the most photographed sites in Kyoto. Walking through the extensive grove is like entering another world – the thick, green stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction and there is a strange quality to the light.
Scenic Train Ride to Kameoka
The Sagano Scenic Railway, also known as the Sagano Romantic Train, is a retro-style steam train that runs alongside the Hozugawa River between Arishiyama and Kameoka, winding its way through the mountains. The train takes approximately 25 minutes to travel the seven kilometres, giving passengers a pleasant view of the scenery along the way.
Hozu River Cruise
From Kameoka, visitors can return to Arashiyama by boat on a Hozu River Cruise. The trip takes around two hours as the flat bottom boats, guided by boatmen with oars and bamboo poles make their way down the river, through the rapids – be prepared to get splashed!
Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is located around 30 minutes on foot from the bamboo forest and features over 1,000 little stone rakens (statues of enlightened ones) made from1981 to 1999 during the reconstruction of the temple. Some laugh joyfully, others pose serenely and one holds a tennis racket.
Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama
Though it is common to spot wild monkeys in the nearby mountains, visitors can encounter over 100 monkeys roaming freely within the monkey park.