One of my favourite places of interest in Kyoto would include Arashiyama (嵐山), a beautiful and peaceful touristy district located in the western outskirts of Kyoto. Considered as Kyoto’s second most-popular tourist destination, this stunning little district is exceptionally beautiful during the spring and autumn season with its beautiful seasonal colors.
There are many ways to get to Arashiyama (嵐山) depending on where your start point of travel would be. As we were staying within the Dotonbori Area of Osaka, our journey started from Nippombashi Station where we took the Osaka City Subway Sakaisuji Line towards Awaji Station. We change at Awaji Station to take the Hankyu Train on Kyoto Line (Limited Express Train) heading towards Kawaramachi where we got off Katsura Station. From Katsura Station, we took another Hankyu Train on the Arashiyama Line heading to Arashiyama Train Station (Last stop). The entire journey from Osaka to Arashiyama only took 1 hour and cost a total of 610 yen per person. To find out the best route and train to take, you may refer to HyperDia | Timetable and Route Search in Japan.
Upon arriving at Arashiyama Station, we took a short walk of about 5 minutes to the central of Arashiyama.
Along the way, we cross a small bridge with a beautiful and scenic view of the river.
Further walk up, we reach the iconic landmark of Arashiyama (嵐山), Togetsukyo Bridge. Originally build during the Heian Period (794-1185), it was most recently reconstructed in the 1930s. Togetsukyo Bridge is a particularly beautiful when it is combined with the forested mountainside within the background. There is a beautiful riverside park where dozen of cherry blossoms tree are located making it exceptionally beautiful during the Cherry Blossom Blooming season.
Beautiful view from the Riverside Park next to Togetsukyo Bridge
Arashiyama (嵐山) is best to be explored on foot as there are always something to see along the way, from lush temples and shrine, old private villas and streets lined with craft and souvenirs shops.
From the Togetsukyo Bridge, on the right of the bridge, one will see a big shop which sell various kinds of traditional snacks. One not to be missed is the famous Kihachiro’s Beef Bun (costing at only 500 yen each bun). A glass of non-alcoholic beer compliments this yummy steam bun well.
A short distance walk from Togetsukyo Bridge heading into Central of Arashiyama (嵐山), one will reached Randen (Keifuku) Arashiyama Station. An attractive place, there are number of shops selling traditional sweets and beverages. There are many places to sit and relax.
At the same station, just next to the Randen Platform, there is a beautiful Kimono Forest. Part of the 2013 renovation, this gorgeous collection of cylinder-shaped pillars consists of Kimono (textile displays dyed in the traditional Kyo-yuzen style) which makes the “forest” that has been clustered like a forest. There are about 600 of them all installed all over the station grounds, framing the lane way to Randen tram station. It is highly recommended to visit Kimono Forest at dusk when the beautiful Kimono Forest is illuminated by the LED lights installed in each of the pillars. Truly a beautiful sight!
Further walk down Arashiyama (嵐山), you will reach one of Kyoto’s many UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺), one of the most important temple in the area. Read more about Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺) Here
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove is listed as one of Kyoto’s top sightseeing spot and is located a short walk from Tenryuji Temple (天龍寺). A beautiful and serene path, the walking paths that cut through the bamboo groves makes a good spot for a nice walk or bicycle ride.
Beautiful sight in the evening with a little bit of light and shadow
Walking along the path, one will reach Nonomiya Shrine (野宮神社), a Shinto Shrine. A small shrine, it is very popular with the local Japanese.
We decided to be adventurous hence, after coming out from the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, we walked along the street with the help of GPS towards another interesting spot, Saga-Torrimoto Preserved Street. The walk towards this Hidden Gem of Arashiyama took us about 30 minutes through traditional townhouses and beautiful countryside.
After the long walk, we finally arrived at the narrow Saga-Torrimoto Preserved Street. Truly a hidden gem, the street was so quiet to the extend that the shops were left unattended.
A truly amazing place, we soon realized that it is almost time to head back to Osaka. There are just so much more interesting spot to discover in Arashiyama (嵐山), hence we definitely need to come back again soon.