If you are planning a trip to Japan during the autumn leaves season, one stop to add to your list, is the beautiful mountain area, Arashiyama. Found on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is home to some of Japan’s most iconic sights – from the famed Bamboo Grove to one of the top 5 temples in Kyoto. With spectacular views and gorgeous gardens, it’s easy to see why the area is a national Heritage Site and renowned as a Place of Scenic Beauty.
Catch a glimpse of this wonderland here, in Arashiyama: A photo diary of the most beautiful sights.
The Togetsukyo Bridge was originally built during the Heian Period (794-1185) and is one of the town’s most important landmarks. It is a symbol of blessing to young Japanese children, and more interestingly, the river changes names on either side of the bridge. On the west of the bridge, the river is called the Hozu River and on the east it is known as the Katsura River.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll across this wooden bridge whilst taking in the beautiful surrounding landscapes.
Stroll along the river
If you aren’t much of a walker, another great way to explore the area is by taking a river cruise or even renting a boat and rowing around the Hozugawa area. You can rent a boat at one of the many stalls along the Hozu River. Or, why not take a river cruise? For more details on Hozugawa River Cruises, visit their website, here.
The Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama’s most loved sight, is its Bamboo Grove. Follow the walking paths that cut through the swaying bamboo forest for some amazing photo opportunities.
Note: During peak season, tons of tour groups flock to the Bamboo Grove and surrounding area. So, it’s best to come in the early morning hours or late afternoon.
There is no entrance fee for the Bamboo Grove.
Explore the magical gardens of Tenryuji Temple
Tenryuji is the largest temple in Arashiyama and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in 1339, Tenryuji is ranked as one of Kyoto’s top 5 Zen temples. And it’s easy to see why. Apart from the impressive temple, the gardens and numerous walking paths are beyond spectacular.
Operating hours: 8:30 – 17:30 (Oct – Mar: 8:30 – 17:00)
Entrance fee: ¥500
You can reach Arashiyama easily by train or bus from Kyoto Station. If you have already purchased a JR Pass, you might want to consider traveling by train. The ride is roughly 45 minutes long and prices start at ¥240 per single journey, depending on which train you take. Take the JR Sagano/San-in Line to Saga-Arashiyama Station.
Alternatively, you could reach Arashiyama by bus from Kyoto Station. Take Kyoto City Bus #28 and get off at the Arashiyama-Tenryuji-mae stop. The bus ride takes approximately 1 hour and costs ¥230 for a single journey.
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Have you ever visited Arashiyama? We’d love to hear what you thought about this beautiful area in the comments below. To learn more about our travels in Japan, feel free to head to our Japan section for more insights on top attractions in the Kansai region.