Home Kyoto Arashiyama Kyoto: A Day Trip to Enjoy Bamboo Forest, Sagano Train and More

Arashiyama Kyoto: A Day Trip to Enjoy Bamboo Forest, Sagano Train and More

by Ryu_C@RakuRakuJP

Must-visit attractions in the suburbs of Kyoto

Traveling to Kyoto, which places would you like to visit? Besides going to Kiyomizu Temple and Yasaka Shrine to visit the most traditional Japanese attractions, or go to the busiest center of Kyoto – Shijo Kawaramachi to buy your favorite Japanese products in different department stores?

Apart from these sights in the center of Kyoto, have you ever thought about spending a little time traveling to the suburbs of Kyoto – Arashiyama?
In Arashiyama, you can enjoy the most beautiful natural scenery in the Kansai region, experience the unique small trains in Arashiyama, Hozu River cruises, use the most leisurely way to use rickshaws to shuttle through the bamboo forest, and let the local Japanese introduce you to Arashiyama Every story behind the landscape.

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The location and characteristics of Arashiyama

Arashiyama is located on the left side of the center of Kyoto, about a 20-minute drive from Kyoto JR Station. Unlike the center of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a place dominated by the natural environment, and it is easy to find some very historic buildings, bamboo forests, Hozu River, and traditional rickshaw experience, just like bringing you to the former Kyoto. It can be said that it is a must-see attraction for every traveler to Kyoto.

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Transportation to Arashiyama

If you have never been to Arashiyama, Kyoto, you may think that the transportation to Arashiyama will be very complicated. Because in addition to JR trains, there are also Hankyu Main Line, Kyoto Bus, etc. It seems that all means of transportation can go to Arashiyama, but some means of transportation go to Sagano, and some go to Sagano Arashiyama. Which mode of transportation should I choose?

To put it simply, there are 3 main modes of transportation to choose from to Arashiyama. Which way to choose depends on which area of Kyoto you are starting from.

From JR Kyoto Station

Access by JR train

 If you are departing from JR Kyoto Station, take the "San'in Main Line" at "JR Kyoto Station" to "JR Saga-Arashiyama Station". It only takes 17 minutes, and you can reach Arashiyama and Saga areas without changing other transportation .

After getting off the bus, you can walk to different scenic spots such as Togetsukyo Bridge, Tenryuji Temple, Bamboo Forest and so on.

To go by Kyoto bus

In addition to using JR trains, if you want to experience the scenery of Kyoto while going to Arashiyama, you can also use Kyoto City Bus Lines 72, 73, 74, and 76 from "Kyoto Ekimae" departs from "Arashiyama Koen" station, or "Arashiyama" station.
Take the Kyoto city bus to Arashiyama, and the journey takes about 60 minutes. Although it takes more time for the journey, it is also a special experience to treat the city bus as a Kyoto sightseeing bus.

From Kawaramachi, Gion

You can go there directly by using the Hankyu train. The method is to take the train heading for Umeda from the "Kyoto Kawaramachi" station, get off at the "Katsura" station, and then transfer to the "Arashiyama (Hankyu)" train. After arriving at the terminus, you can go to Tenryuji Temple, Bamboo Forest, etc. Waiting for Arashiyama attractions.
It takes about 30 minutes from Kawaramachi to Arashiyama.

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Best time to visit Arashiyama

Best season to go to Arashiyama

Arashiyama is the most popular tourist attraction in the Kansai region, and basically people from different regions go sightseeing all year round. Although some people will say that the best time to visit Arashiyama is the cherry blossom period from March to April, or the maple leaf season in October every year. But in fact, Arashiyama has different characteristics in different seasons. For example, there are cherry blossoms in spring, water activities to cool off in summer, red leaves in autumn, and snow scenery in winter. .

Best time to visit Arashiyama

Photo-based itinerary

Also because Arashiyama is a very popular tourist attraction, if your goal of going to Arashiyama is to take photos and share them on social media, basically the sooner you go, the better. Because most tourists will arrive at Arashiyama around 9:00-10:00 in the morning, and around 11:30 will be the most crowded time. At that time, no matter how hot or cold the weather is, the bamboo forest and Togetsu Bridge It will definitely be crowded.
So if you want to take a beautiful picture of the scenery, you must set off for Arashiyama earlier.

Sightseeing-based itinerary

If you don’t come to Arashiyama for taking pictures, but just want to see the scenery of Arashiyama, experience the small train and Hozugawa cruise, you will basically arrive at Arashiyama around 9:00 in the morning, and you will have plenty of time to go to every place in Arashiyama. sights. And because most restaurants don’t open until around 10:30, when you arrive at Arashiyama at 9:00 in the morning, after visiting the bamboo forest, Togetsukyo Bridge, etc., it’s time for the restaurant to open, so you can experience Arashiyama’s specialties.

Attractions in Arashiyama

Geographically, Arashiyama is a tourist attraction mainly based on natural scenery. It is most suitable to start from Kyoto, spend half a day in Arashiyama to enjoy the tranquil environment, and then return to the lively Kyoto to continue the evening itinerary.

If the different attractions in Arashiyama are divided into several parts, they can be divided into Togetsukyo Bridge, Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama Shopping Street, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, etc., which are the closest to Arashiyama Station, and the Kameoka area, which is the farthest from Arashiyama, Hozu River cruise experience, etc. .

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Togetsu Bridge

Togetsukyo can become a well-known scenic spot because Togetsukyo has a history of more than 800 years since it was built, and when you stand on Togetsukyo, you can watch the flowing water flowing down from Hozu River, so that you can Slowly feel the tranquil side of Arashiyama.

The Togetsukyo Bridge will have different shapes at different times, and the scenery will be different no matter in the morning, noon, or evening. And Togetsukyo Bridge is also the starting point and end point of every tourist who comes to Arashiyama from Kyoto. If you come to Arashiyama by the Landen (Keifuku) Arashiyama Main Line or the Hankyu Arashiyama Line, don’t forget before leaving Arashiyama Stop by Togetsukyo Bridge again!

Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Kyoto
With blue sky and flowing water, morning or afternoon is the best time to shoot Togetsukyo!

Togetsukyo Bridge location

Tenryuji Temple

Although Tenryuji Temple is literally no different from an ordinary Japanese temple, it may not be included in your itinerary when you visit various attractions in Arashiyama.

Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama, Kyoto

In fact, Tenryuji Temple is a historical building with a history of almost 1,000 years. It has experienced several fires, repairs, and reconstructions in the middle, and finally became a historical site today.

For tourists, the more important thing is that Tenryuji Temple has a vast garden for you to visit. Whether it's cherry blossoms in spring, lake water and sunshine in summer, red leaves in autumn, or snow in winter, you can all experience it in the traditional Japanese garden in Tenryuji Temple. If you are interested in putting Tenryuji Temple on the schedule, you canPreview the garden view of Tenryuji Temple, they will take some latest photos from the temple every season, so that you can pre-determine the itinerary in Arashiyama.

Opening hours of Tenryuji Temple: 08:30 am – 17:00 pm
Visit fee: ¥500 (only for visiting the garden) – ¥1300 (visiting the garden, various halls, and dharma hall "Unryutu" in Tenryuji Temple)

Pictures, details: 「Tenryuji」のOfficial ホームページ

Location of Tenryuji Temple

Arashiyama Rickshaw Experience

In the past, rickshaws were a common means of transportation in daily life, but with the evolution of modern transportation, Japanese rickshaws have gradually become a tourist experience in major sightseeing spots.

The biggest difference from traditional rickshaws is that what these rickshaws mainly provide is not a transportation service that takes you from point A to point B, but an experience of "sightseeing x local tour guide".
The biggest advantage of using a rickshaw to go sightseeing in Arashiyama is that you don’t have to walk to different attractions by yourself, and you can also ask the driver to introduce the story behind each attraction. You can also exchange Japanese culture with them, although most of them are They are local Japanese, but many of them can speak English and even Chinese. And many of them are handsome guys, they all like to communicate with tourists from different places, so you can also ask them to teach you a few commonly used Japanese, so that your trip to Kyoto will add some special memories!

Arashiyama rickshaw reservation information

Rickshaw fare: Calculated based on the number of passengers, ¥4,000 for a single person, ¥5,000 for a double (calculated for a 10-minute experience in a single section)
Rickshaw itinerary: Take a single section as an example for a 10-minute experience. First start from Togetsu Bridge, go to Baoyan Temple, and then return to Togetsu Bridge along Katsura River

If you really experience the rickshaw in Arashiyama, but you are worried that there will be communication difficulties at that time, you can use klookKyoto Arashiyama Rickshaw Experience Reservation Service, pre-book the rickshaw service for you. In addition, we have specially prepared a itinerary for you to travel through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest and visit Nonomiya Shinto. You only need to show the package information and you can start!

Attraction Rickshaw Experience in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Pictures, details: EBISUYA Kyoto Arashiyama main branch
Check Prices and Discount Offer: Kyoto Arashiyama Rickshaw Tour

Attraction Rickshaw Experience in Arashiyama, Kyoto

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Nonomiya Shrine

In the Arashiyama area, in addition to Tenryuji Temple, there is also Nonomiya Shrine, which is used to pray for studies and marriage. It is located at the corner of the middle section of Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. If you are interested in visiting Shendu, you can spend a little time in the middle of visiting the bamboo forest.

Nonomiya Shrine, a scenic spot in Arashiyama, Kyoto
Entrance to Nonomiya Shrine (Image: Wikipedia)

Location of Nonomiya Shrine

Arashiyama Autumn Leaves Experience

Around November every year is the season when red leaves appear in Japan. Arashiyama, as a natural environment-based scenic spot, is of course no exception!

If you are traveling to Japan for the red leaves, if you can seize the opportunity to go to Arashiyama, you will not be disappointed. Because the chances of seeing red leaves in Arashiyama are very high. Whether you start from Togetsukyo Bridge, walk to Tenryuji Temple, Hogan-in Temple, or go a little further to Kao-in Temple and Sagano Train, you can enjoy the scenery of red leaves in the same way. Fill up your phone's space!

Sagano Train, Arashiyama, Kyoto
If you are going to Japan for red leaves, Arashiyama is definitely the best place to watch red leaves (Photo: Sagano Kanko Railway Co., Ltd.)

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Sightseeing

When you go to Kyoto, you must not miss Arashiyama, and when you go to Arashiyama, you must not miss the bamboo forest!
Although it is a bit exaggerated to say this, the bamboo forest in Arashiyama can be said to be a unique scenic spot in the Kansai region.

Although some people will say that it is just an ordinary bamboo forest, what is so special about it?

Perhaps it is a simple bamboo forest, which allows everyone who walks in to enjoy the "sense of tranquility" that is usually lacking, so it has an indescribable magic for many tourists who come from the city. Basically, everyone who comes to Arashiyama will take the time to walk through the bamboo forest. Whether it is the first time he has come to Arashiyama or he has been here many times, he will definitely go to the bamboo forest.

Probably because there is nothing special about the bamboo forest in Arashiyama, there are no aunts dancing in the square, no one hawking, only tourists visiting quietly, and rickshaw drivers leading the tourists, making the bamboo forest in Arashiyama, which has no special features, the most Special attractions!

Sightseeing bamboo forest trail in Arashiyama, Kyoto

Travel experience unique to Arashiyama

The most interesting part of traveling to Arashiyama is that in addition to statically visiting different scenic spots, you can also use different means of transportation to experience a different Arashiyama!

If you can spend 3 hours in Arashiyama, and if you can reach Arashiyama in the morning, the following "Arashiyama Sightseeing Train x Hozugawa Cruise" itinerary is very suitable for you to visit the entire Arashiyama area, so that you can experience two kinds of Arashiyama at the same time The most special means of transportation.

The method is to take the Arashiyama sightseeing train to Kameoka Station, then use the Hozugawa cruise along the river to enjoy the natural beauty along the way, and finally return to Arashiyama.

And after completing the whole experience, you can also use the remaining time to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Trail and Tianhua Temple Garden, and then buy some souvenirs at the Arashiyama Shopping Street before returning to Kyoto, so that you have a fulfilling and perfect Arashiyama itinerary

Arashiyama Sightseeing Train

Small train boarding place

From JR Kyoto Station, take the Sanin Main Line to "JR Saga Arashiyama Station", then walk for about 5 minutes, walk across the JR station, and you will arrive at the small train Saga Station "トロッコ Saga Station".
If you like to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest first, you can also walk to "JR Saga Arashiyama Station" first, and then pass through the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest to the small train Arashiyama Station "トロッコ Arashiyama Station". You can also take the Arashiyama small train to the small train Kameoka Station. Enjoy the rivers, red leaves, and cherry blossoms along the way!

Features of Arashiyama Sightseeing Train

Driving route, scenic features

The biggest feature of the Arashiyama Sightseeing Train is that it allows you to slowly appreciate the other side of Arashiyama. Because the speed of the Lanshan sightseeing train is not fast, it is only about 25km/h, which happens to be a little faster than a bicycle. Moreover, the total length of the entire route is 7.3km. In addition to the places where you need to stop halfway, you will also stop at designated places to take pictures for you.

In addition, it takes about 25 minutes from "トロッコ Arashiyama Station" to "トロッコ亀冈駅" and within half an hour, you can experience different scenery according to different seasons, such as the cherry blossom tunnel in spring and the red leaves in autumn Tunnels, bright green tunnels in summer, and snowy landscapes in winter.
And the whole driving route is along the Hozu River, if you pay attention carefully, you will also see the Hozu River cruise ship passing under you!

compartment design

The Arashiyama Sightseeing Train has a total of 5 sets of cards, and all seats are designated seats that need to be reserved.

The open carriage of the Sagano train, a scenic spot in Arashiyama, Kyoto

One of the cards is an open train, and the top of the car is designed with transparent glass, so that you can take the most beautiful photos.
In addition, because there is no blocking of any window glass, many times it will be fully booked by passengers in the first place!

If it is in a popular season, especially the cherry blossom season in spring, the red leaves season in autumn, Japanese holidays, etc., the open carriages on that day will often be fully booked. If you buy the ticket on the same day, you may miss the opportunity to take the open carriage. Therefore, before departure, it is highly recommended toBuy train tickets in advance, to avoid the situation of arriving at the station but not being able to get on the bus.

It is hard to find a ticket for the Arashiyama Sightseeing Train

The biggest difference between the Arashiyama Sightseeing Train and other ordinary railways in Kyoto is that it does not provide a large number of departures and trains every hour to carry passengers back and forth to "トロッコ Saga Station" and "トロッコ亀冈駅", but uses one train from one day to In the evening, I keep going back and forth between the two stations of "Torokko Saga Station" and "Torokko Kameoka Station".

It takes about 25 minutes to drive from "トロッコ Saga Station" to "トロッコぺ庀駅", and then it takes exactly 25 minutes to return to the "Torokko Saga Station". There is a train, and it is also the reason why it can "departure at 00 minutes" and "departure at 30 minutes".

Therefore, there will only be 7 sets of trains departing from "Torokko Saga Station" to "Torokko Saga Station" from day to night, and then only 7 sets of trains will return to "Torokko Saga Station" from "Torokko Saga Station" a day. If you come to Arashiyama to experience the Arashiyama sightseeing train during the spring cherry blossom period and autumn red leaves period, it is highly recommended that you prepare the ticket in advance before departure, so that you can avoid arriving at the scene in the morning, but even the last day in the afternoon The train tickets are also full of embarrassing situations.

The scenery of Arashiyama sightseeing train

In the official video of the Arashiyama Sightseeing Train below, you can preview the cherry blossoms along the way and the scenery of the Hozu River! In addition, if you depart from "Torokko Saga Station" to "Torokko Kameoka Station", you must take theright side of the train, to be able to guarantee a perfect view.

How to book Arashiyama train ticket

The method of booking the Arashiyama train is very simple, just go through klookBook Arashiyama Sagano Sightseeing Train Tickets, to claim their recurring offers. Then use the electronic voucher to exchange for a physical ticket at JR Kyoto Station, and you can guarantee a seat on the designated flight, making your itinerary more budget-friendly.

Best way to book popular tickets?
[Priority Reservation] Kyoto Sagano Sightseeing Train
Make your Arashiyama trip more convenient!

Hozu River Cruise

Because there are no scenic spots on the Kameoka "Torokko-Kameoka Station", most passengers take the Arashiyama train from "Torokko-Saga Station" to "Torokko-Kameoka Station", and then use the same small train Turning back to "トロッコ Saga Station" is like watching the same scene twice, which has a little discount on the entire sightseeing experience.

But if you plan to return to Arashiyama with the Hozu River Cruise, you can enjoy Arashiyama from another angle! Not only will you not feel bored on the return trip, but you can also get a completely different travel experience from other travelers!

Features of the Hozu River Cruise

If you want to talk about the characteristics of Hozugawa cruise ships, you must talk about their speed! First of all, because the Hozu River is a river that flows down from the mountain, the cruise ships on the Hozu River do not need to be equipped with motors, and the boatman can use the torrent-like river water to pass through different rocks and sharp turns, just like taking you on a mobile game. Pass through one after another cherry blossom tunnel and red leaf tunnel.

Sometimes you think that when the cruise ship is about to hit the rocks, the experienced boatman will always have a way to get you to the destination safely.
Just like the video below, Hozugawa cruises are very fast, a bit like whitewater sports, but they are definitely safer than whitewater sports, and you can also immerse yourself in the most beautiful natural scenery in different seasons.

Hozu River Cruise Departure Point

After arriving at Kameoka Station "トロッコぺ庀駅" on the small train from Arashiyama, transfer to the "Keihan Kyoto Kotsu Bus" near the station, and you will arrive at the departure point of the Hozugawa cruise in about 15 minutes.

Hozu River Cruise Course

After arriving at the starting point of the Hozugawa cruise ship, it will continue to descend along the flowing water of the Hozugawa River, cross the Hozugawa Bridge, pass through several twists and turns, pass through sections of cherry blossoms, green leaves, red leaves, and snow scenes, and finally return The terminus near Togetsukyo Bridge.

Kyoto Arashiyama attractions Hozu River cruise itinerary

How to make a reservation for a Hozu River Cruise

There are two ways to book a Hozugawa cruise ship. One is to purchase tickets after arriving at the Hozugawa ferry terminal, but it requires a certain level of Japanese ability to communicate with the staff, and because it can only carry 24 passengers at a time, it may not be possible. Make sure there is enough space.

The other is to use klook's package booking service, and then book the location of the Baojin River cruise ship before departure, and then after arriving in Kyoto, convert the electronic voucher into a physical ticket at Kyoto Station, so that you don't have to worry about arriving at the boarding ground but not being able to board condition of the ship.

In addition, although the official fare is similar to klook's fare in terms of price, sometimes klook will also provide discount codes and additional discounts. For example, the latest klook offers discount codesBetterOnAppFor everyone, you can get an extra 5% discount when you book.
What's more, you can earn points after booking a package with klook, which will allow you to get additional discounts when you book other travel packages next time.

If you are interested in participating in the Hozugawa cruise, you can check the fare on klook first.
Click to claim limited time discount offer: Book Hozugawa Cruise Package

Restaurants worth trying in Arashiyama

When you come to Arashiyama, there are several foods that you must not miss, that is, the soba noodles of Iwao, and the Japanese desserts of Oomatsu!

buckwheatwheat noodles so ば place い わ を 

The reason why I recommend Soba いわを (sobaka – iwao) is because their soba noodles are very famous, and they are now in the third generation of business, whether they are Japanese locals or overseas tourists to Arashiyama, they all love it very much. Their soba noodles.

And their most famous products are prawn tempura soba noodles that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and a la carte soba noodles that experience the level of Japanese craftsmen.

In addition, Buckwheat Place いわを is the queue store in Arashiyama. Although he will not open until 11:00 in the morning, there is already a queue of people at the door at about 10:30, and all the stocks will be sold out at about 1:00. Sometimes you will find them ready to close for a break at 2pm.

Gourmet Soba IWAO in Arashiyama, Kyoto
そば处いわを is a popular queue restaurant in Arashiyama, and there is already a queue of people before the official opening time

buckwheatwheat noodles so ば place い わ を Store information

Business Hours: 11:00AM – Sold out of same day stock
Holidays: Shuyao regular holiday (Wednesday regular holiday)
Address: 19 Zoji-cho, Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

Japanese Desserts – Hirokashi Goshosho – Old Matsu

Not far from Soba そばいわを, about a 4-minute walk, you can taste the most traditional and Arashiyama-style Japanese wagashi in Lao Song’s tea room.

The most famous dessert of Laosong is a product called "Summer Orange Candy". "Summer Tangerine Candy" is to first hollow out a mandarin orange, use the pulp of the mandarin mandarin to make jelly, and then put the jelly back into the mandarin mandarin, just like when you open the mandarin mandarin, you will think it is an ordinary mandarin mandarin. It will be a tangerine jelly!

Gourmet dessert shop Oomatsu in Arashiyama, Kyoto
In the traditional building, Laosong has set up a small garden, so that you can brand the most traditional Japanese sweets

Laosong store information

Business hours: 10:00am – 17:00pm
Holidays: Irregular holidays
Address: 〒616-8385, 20, Mannobabacho, Saga Tenryuji Temple, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City

Other Recommended Travel Experiences

When you come to Arashiyama, in addition to planning your own itinerary, you can also let the locals plan different itineraries for you! such as participating inPrivate Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Guided Tour, let the local tour guide take you to visit Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and Nonomiya Shrine, and introduce you the stories and cultural significance behind each scenic spot, so that your Arashiyama travel itinerary can get a more in-depth experience.

In addition, the biggest difference between participating in a private Arashiyama bamboo forest guided tour and ordinary free travel is that the private Arashiyama bamboo forest guided tour includes tickets for scenic spots and hotel transportation services, so that you can use the most relaxed mood without chasing transportation attitude to enjoy every attraction in Arashiyama.

Recommended accommodation room

Kyoto City

There are many recommended accommodation rooms in Kyoto, but if you want to move around different scenic spots in Kyoto, it is highly recommended to arrange accommodation near JR Kyoto Station.

And because the hotels near JR Kyoto Station are mainly business hotel rooms, the first consideration for ordinary travelers is the comfort of the room, and then the cost performance. In this regard, APA Hotel has always been an expert in this area. Many local Japanese will give priority to APA Hotel when they travel on business. Passengers who stay can focus on their daily itinerary.

Hotel Accommodation at Kyoto Station APA Hotel
Using APA Hotel to arrange accommodation is not only convenient and comfortable, but also allows you to focus on your travel itinerary.

Near JR Kyoto Station, there are a total of 4 APA Hotels to choose from, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to book a room and losing your budget. They are:

If you haven't booked accommodation in Kyoto yet, you can click the above link to claim the room reservation discount.

In addition, if you want to know more accommodation recommendations in different areas of Kyoto, you can checkRecommended accommodation in Kyoto.

further reading

Deconstruction of Kyoto Station – Why must travelers who come to Kyoto know about Kyoto Station?

Arashiyama area

Now that you have come to Arashiyama, an area with first-class natural scenery, you will definitely not miss the opportunity to enjoy a comfortable vacation by staying in some simple business hotels.

The most recommended accommodation in the Arashiyama area must be Hoshino Group's "Hoshi no Ya Kyoto". With excellent views, traditional Japanese-style rooms, and the most advanced Japanese cuisine, you will get an absolutely unforgettable memory of your trip to Kyoto.

Hotel accommodation at Kyoto Station Hoshino Hotels Kyoto
In "Star の や Kyoto", simply watching the natural scenery of Arashiyama can make you spend an afternoon!

Hoshi no ya Kyoto accommodation information

Reception address: 〒616-0007 11-2 Motorokuyama-cho, Arashiyama, Xijing District, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Details, reservations: Hoshi no ya Kyoto formula / Agoda Hotel Deals


No matter in any season, as long as you travel to Kansai and Kyoto, Arashiyama is a very worthwhile attraction, especially if you have never been to Arashiyama, you must find a chance to go there once.

It is also because Arashiyama is very close to the center of Kyoto, so you can leave Arashiyama in the morning. After visiting the bamboo forest, Tenryuji Temple, experiencing the Arashiyama train and the Hozugawa cruise, you can return to Kyoto and continue your journey in Kyoto. shopping, gourmet itinerary!

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