Arashiyama Day Trip: The Best Things To Do

Arashiyama Day Trip: The Best Things To Do

Discover one of Japan’s most iconic sights, Arashiyama, on an exciting day trip from Kyoto. This guide highlights what to do on your Arashiyama day trip, how to get to Arashiyama, and all our top tips to help you make the most of your visit.

Any trip to Japan would not be complete without visiting the beautiful mountain town of 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 all of Kyoto. With spectacular views and gorgeous gardens, it’s easy to see why this area is a National Heritage Site and renowned as a Place of Scenic Beauty.

Arashiyama is an excellent add-on to your day trips from Kyoto list, as well as any Japan itinerary. Whether your only spending a few days in the western region or planning a 2 week Japan itinerary, visiting Arashiyama is highly encouraged.

Autumn scenes from Arashiyama, Japan

In a rush? Pin these Arashiyama day trip tips for later.

Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

Also read: The Top Kyoto Sights not to Miss

Arashiyama Day Trip: Best Things to do

Togetsukyo Bridge

Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama, Japan

The Togetsukyo Bridge was initially built during the Heian Period (794-1185) and is one of the town’s most famous 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, while it’s called the Katsura River on the east.east.

Apart from taking a gentle stroll over the bridge, it’s also the perfect place to take some photos of the river and mountains as a backdrop. The bridge is only 155m long, so it’s easily walked in a few minutes.

Pro Tip

If you are traveling to Arashiyama by bus, the closest stop to the Togetsukyo Bridge is the Arashiyama Park bus stop.

Klook.com
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

Also read: Japan in Fall – The best places to visit

Hozu River

Boat cruise on the Hozu river, Arashiyama

Any day trip to Arashiyama wouldn’t be complete without exploring the gorgeous natural scenery. And, one of the best ways to do this is by boat. Luckily, there are a few options to choose from, especially if you are visiting Japan on a shoestring.

The first option is to rent a small boat or kayak and paddle along the main Hozugawa river area by yourself. Some local boats provide short boat rides along the river too. Simply go to one of the many stalls that line the river to organise the above.

But, if you want to get a real feel of what the Hozu river has to offer, take a short train trip to the neighboring city of Kameoka. From here you can board a Hozugawa Kudari boat ride. It’s one of the most famous river routes in Japan and dates back to 400 years. For more details on Hozugawa River Cruises, visit their website, here.

Pro Tip

This ride between Kameoka and Arashiyama takes about 2 hours, so if you are on a tight schedule, be sure to keep this in mind.

Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

Also read: What to do on a Nara One Day Itinerary

The Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama, Japan // The iconic #bamboogrove.

Arashiyama’s most iconic sight is undoubtedly the Bamboo Grove, often also referred to as the Bamboo Forest. The walking path cuts through swaying bamboo forests and offers countless amazing photo ops.

If you’re traveling Kyoto with kids, the bamboo grove is a great add-on to your Arashiyama day trip itinerary, as there is no entrance fee.

Pro Tip

The Bamboo Forest is very popular among locals and tourists alike – especially if you are traveling during peak seasons, like spring or autumn. Therefore, it’s best to time your visit here. To skip the crowds and tour groups, I recommend visiting here either in the early morning or late afternoon.

Klook.com

Tenryuji Temple

Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

Tenryuji is the largest temple in Arashiyama and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was founded in 1339 and 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.

Work on spending at least 2 hours here, as the gardens are sublime. Be sure to also duck into the temple before making your way along the little winding paths through the gardens. If you’d like to take a breather or just admire the natural scenery, there are many resting stops along the way.

Operating hours: 8:30 – 17:30 (Oct – Mar: 8:30 – 17:00)

Entrance fee: ¥500

Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary
Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

Getting to Arashiyama

You can easily reach Arashiyama by train or bus from Kyoto Station. But if you are pressed for time, or not comfortable using public transport, you might want to consider taking a half-day trip to Arashiyama.

The fastest way to reach Arashiyama, however, is by train. Take the JR Sagano/ San-in Line to Saga-Arashiyama Station. If you haven’t purchased a JR Pass, prices start at ¥240 (single journey) and the ride takes about 45 minutes from Kyoto. Prices do however differ per train, so be sure to keep an eye out for this. 

Alternatively, you could also reach Arashiyama by bus from Kyoto Station. Simply take Kyoto City Bus #28 and get off at the Arashiyama-Tenryuji-mae stop. The bus ride takes about 1 hour and costs ¥230 for a single journey.

Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

So,

Have you visited Arashiyama yet?

What travel tips do you have for fellow travellers planning an Arashiyama day trip? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, head to our Japan section for more insights on top attractions and what not to miss in the Kansai region.

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Autumn leaves in Arashiyama

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Arashiyama, Japan // #arashiyama is one of the most popular #daytrips from #kyoto. And for good reason. Explore temples, take a ride on the #hozuriver and wander through the iconic #bamboogrove. Find out what to do on your Arashiyama day trip here in this guide. Plus #traveltips you need to make the most of your day trip from Kyoto. #japan #kyotodaytrip #travel #travelplanning #itinerary

This post was updated on 5 January 2019.

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17 thoughts on “Arashiyama Day Trip: The Best Things To Do”

  • Japan’s Arashiyama Bamboo Groove is so lovely. I would love to walk alone so I’d be going very early in the morning when I visit. And to think the entrance fee is FREE makes me hunger for a visit.

  • Looks like you visited at a perfect time! We were in Kyoto this last winter but didn’t make it to Arashiyama because we were short of time. Fall is my favorite season so we’ll have to try to get back that way then!

  • Wow! The colors are stunning! I love how Japanese, as modern in technology as they are, still retains the beauty of their nature, and preserving trees like these! You took wonderful photos.

    • Thanks Jen! When I think of Japan I think of AI’s, neon lights and technology…and of course, sushi! Haha! But, how they preserve their historical sites and nature is truly astonishing.

  • The colours are absolutely amazing. Japan has been on my bucket list for ages, I hope to cross it off next year. The bamboo grove is magical, I would spend hours wandering around, admiring the beauty of it. You visited Japan at a perfect time, love all the pictures.

  • Wow! Arashiyama looks so beautiful. I could have a field day walking around this area and taking in the breathtaking colours. My camera battery might run out as well.

  • Wow! Now, after seeing all of it I regret not booking my trip to Japan for longer than just 3 days in Tokyo! I have heard so many good stuff about Kyoto recently! Your photos are fabulous! I wish I could be there for fall season!

  • I fell in love with China when the colors were changing… and Japan looks as amazing or better! Thank you for sharing and making me lean towards Japan for our next trip across the Pacific!

  • OMG. I’m a sucker for autumnal colours and these are just bloomin’ divine. I adore them, the colours of the leaves, I could really imagine walking through them feeling totally at peace. What a pretty place to visit!

  • The autumn in Japan looks more impressive than the pink season, I think I’d prefer to go then after seeing your photos, it’s probably quieter too. The Togetsukyo Bridge is impressive as is the age of it, I love when there are historic buildings / bridges to see especially when they are over 1000 years old.

    • I would love to visit Japan during cherry blossom season, but I’ve heard it is jam-packed then! Autumn is extremely popular too, but I guess, it all comes down to timing! Thanks for stopping by, James.

  • I totally love these colorful vibrant pictures. I have never been to a part of the world to witness such beautiful foliage colors in person. But through your pictures I could experience something very close.

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