Arashiyama may be a pleasant, touristed district within the western outskirts of metropolis. the realm has been a preferred destination since the Heian amount (794-1185), once nobles would get pleasure from its natural setting. Arashiyama is especially in style throughout the cherry blossom and fall color seasons.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is Arashiyama’s standard, central landmark. several tiny retailers, restaurants and alternative attractions are found close, together with Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama’s renowned bamboo groves and pleasure boats that are offered for rent on the watercourse.
North of central Arashiyama the atmosphere becomes less touristed and a lot of rural, with many tiny temples scattered on the bottom of the braky mountains. the realm north of the Togetsukyo Bridge is additionally referred to as Sagano, whereas the name “Arashiyama” technically simply refers to the mountains on the southern bank of the watercourse however is usually wont to name the complete district.
One of the foremost gratifying and convenient ways in which to travel round the Sagano space is by rental bicycle, that are offered for around a thousand yen close to the train stations. Cycling through rural residential areas and past fields while traveling between temples may be one in every of the foremost enjoyable parts of a visit to Arashiyama. There is also an attractive preserved town area near the AdashinoNenbutsuji Temple.
Arashiyama becomes most attractive (and busy) around early April and the second half of November when the cherry blossom and fall color seasons usually peak. During the summer months, traditional cormorant fishing is practiced on the Hozu River for tourists to watch. Another good time to visit is during December’s Hanatoro illumination, when lanterns line the streets and bamboo groves.
- Visit the Bamboo Forest
Probably the town’s biggest claim to fame and one of the most photographed sights in Japan, the Sagano Bamboo Forest should be on any Arashiyama itinerary. Its small windy paths flanked by tall bamboo on either side create an otherworldly atmosphere that feels calm and peaceful no matter how busy it gets.
There are a number of shrines and temples in the vicinity, however, you’ll find Nonomiya Shrine right along the main path and, like the Bamboo Forest itself, it’s also free to enter. If you’re looking for love, you might want to drop by and make a wish as Nonomiya-Daikokuten, the god of matchmaking, is said to be enshrined there.
The best time to visit the Bamboo Forest is early morning/late on weekdays as you’ll find fewer visitors. If you’ll be visiting during the Kyoto Arashiyama Hanatouro illuminations in December, you can view various points of interest lit up at night, including the Bamboo Forest and Arashiyama’s iconic Togetsukyo Bridge.
- Visit Tenryu-ji Temple
Founded in 1334, Tenryu-ji is considered one of Kyoto’s five great zen temples. While the buildings that stand today are from the more recent Meiji period due to a history involving no less than eight fires(!), the surrounding Sogenchi Garden remains in its original 14th-Century state. This magnificent garden is a testament to the timeless nature of Japanese landscaping and is well worth dedicating some time to explore it. The complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Entrance costs ¥500 (+¥100 if you want to enter the halls). You can access the Bamboo Forest directly from the temple grounds.
- Go inside Arashiyama Station
If you’ve arrived in Arashiyama from Kyoto, you’ll have most likely arrived at the Saga-Arashiyama train station. The station I’m referring to here is a short walk away on the central shopping strip. The RandenArashiyama Station doesn’t look like much from the front, but head out the back for a couple of hidden gems.
Past the food shops, you’ll quickly notice the colourful art display known as the ‘Kimono Forest’. Take a walk through the pillars decorated in vibrant kimono fabric and get some one-of-a-kind travel pics.
- Get a taste of “old” Japan
Similar to parts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is a place that could be taken straight from the pages of a stereotypical Japanese history text. Think wooden buildings, wooden bridges and the clickety clack of wooden shoes. Full of old-style shops, it’s the perfect opportunity to eat traditional foods, try green tea everything and pick up Japan-esque souvenirs.
- Dress the part
With Arashiyama’s old-world charm, it’s the perfect place to get dressed up and take some holiday snaps. Get dressed in kimono and take photos on the bridges and around town. you’ll be able to even be remodeled into a maiko or Japanese apprentice. For these services, it is best to book ahead. merely raise your accommodation or a traveller data workplace in metropolis to help you.
Although the most traveller space is kind of compact, if you’d like to not walk, you’ll be able to rent a cart to require you around. Fun fact: Did you recognize that the word cart truly originates from Japanese? It comes from the word “jinrikisha”, which suggests “human-powered vehicle”!