Kurama Things to Do

  • Jizo in the Rocks
    Jizo in the Rocks
    by Rabbityama
  • Bridge Along the Trail
    Bridge Along the Trail
    by Rabbityama
  • Candles beneath Kurama-dera
    Candles beneath Kurama-dera
    by mikegr

Most Recent Things to Do in Kurama

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    Mount Kurama

    by Rabbityama Updated Feb 4, 2011
    Kurama's Famous Tree Roots
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    The mountain is of course famous for Kurama-dera Temple, but it is also believed to one place where tengu live (the big-nosed half-bird, half-human creatures).

    One of the biggest draws to Kurama, though, is its nature. The forest is very serene and absolutely gorgeous in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. Along the trail you'll find a small waterfall, a bridge, and a bamboo grove. One of the highlights is actually a section near Kibune where there are trees that have many of their roots showing above ground. It's interesting and has become one of the trail's most famous parts.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Religious Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Kurama-dera Temple

    by Rabbityama Updated Feb 3, 2011
    Kurama-dera's Hondo
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    Kurama-dera Temple was founded by a monk in 770. Although the temple's main building is up the mountain (near the mid-way point along the path from Kurama to Kifune), it is actually spread out over the mountainside. The temple's gate is actually near Kurama Station, before you reach Yuki Shrine, and the pagoda is at the top of the cablecar. The large tengu statue at the bottom is there because it is said that Yoshitsune meditated and studied martial arts here under the guidance of a tengu (holy creatures that resemble humans and birds, easily recognized by their long noses).

    At the main shrine, there is a scenic overlook of the surrounding areas. You can enter the main hall for 200 yen.

    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Yuki Shrine

    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    Yuki Shrine's Cedar Tree
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    Yuki Shrine is the first shrine you will come across if you enter from Kurama Station. It is famous as the site of the Kurama Fire Festival held on October 22. It was built to protect Kyoto's northern borders from evil spirits that may try to enter during the Momoyama Period in the architectural style of the same name. The huge cedar tree towering above the area is over 800 years old and is considered holy.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Festivals

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    Kifune Shrine

    by Rabbityama Updated Jan 30, 2011

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    Kifune Okumiya Shrine
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    Also called Kibune Shrine, this shrine is divided into three parts located within walking distance of one another. The main shrine that you see today is the first of the shrines along the road and the most modern. The most interesting thing here are the fortunes. They are on paper and to see your fortune, you must dip the paper in the water at the shrine and it will then appear!

    The middle shrine is just a bit further up the road. There is mostly forest there today.

    Slightly further down is the upper shrine (Okumiya), and although the modern shrine is viewed as the main shrine today, this is the original, historical Kifune Shrine. It is small, but its history extends 1600 years. The shrine is older than Kyoto and when Kyoto became the capital, offerings were made here by the court. If you want to see the "true" Kifune Shrine then this is where you should go.

    All three parts of the shrine are free to visit.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Kurama Onsen

    by Circle88 Written Apr 26, 2010

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    A good idea could be to start the hike from Kibune and finish at Kurama so you can enjoy a hot soak at Kurama Onsen. The view is very nice and the big bath is outdoors with a small indoors. The price is quite high at 1100 yen and I believe I smelled chlorine in the water. Nevertheless a thoroughly enjoyable visit.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Spa and Resort

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  • Hiking Kurama Temple : Guide book

    by reikijess Written Aug 23, 2007

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    Hiking Kurama is a beautiful thing to do especially in the fall when the leaves turn in mid November. There are so many great little spots, especially if you have an awareness of chi energy.

    A book recently came out, available on American amazon.com that talks about the mountain extensively, and describes what you will see there. Called Reiki's Birthplace:A guide to Mt Kurama, has information on what you will see site by site, and what deities are present.

    Related to:
    • Trains
    • Mountain Climbing
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • meimivw's Profile Photo

    Experience a natural Sulphur Hot Spring.

    by meimivw Written May 19, 2005

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    Natural Sulphur Spring

    This is probably main attraction of the town/village of Kurama. The Hot Spring! For about 1,100 yen, you enjoy the bath. Might be expensive to some but it's one of those things that you should not miss while you're in Japan. Go to the onsen after visiting Kurama temple. After all those hiking up mt. Kurama, I think the bath will be more enjoyable. Overnight accomodation is also available.

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    Walk to the Onsen

    by meimivw Written May 19, 2005

    There is free shuttle to the onsen, but walking will give you a better enjoyment because the onsen is not that far from the station. You get to see, feel, and breathe the fresh air of a japanese countryside. I highly recommend it.

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  • mikegr's Profile Photo

    Kurama Onsen

    by mikegr Updated Feb 1, 2005

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    Day turns to night at Kurama Onsen - Kyoto-fu

    What could be better after a brisk walk than a soak in a hot steaming bath. And why not share your bath with your friends!!!!!

    Welcome to Kurama Onsen!

    For the outdoor onsen (rotembero) - when the bus drops you off walk towards the building on the right, up the slope. Buy a ticket from the machine before the manned booth (1100 yen) and hand the ticket to the man - you can also purchase small modesty towels here, although they didn't seem to be getting much use on my last visit. Continue up the stairs and to the changing rooms where you will need 100 yen for the lockers (which is refundable).

    Note that there are seperate facilities for men and women.

    Remember to wash thoroughly before entering the rotembero (there are the outside wash stations on your left as you walk out to the rotembero, however on a chilly day, you may find the indoor wash stations more comfortable - from the change room they are through the door on the right - wish I'd known this on my first visit!), and make sure you have rinsed the soap off - there are signs requesting that visitors only enter the water naked.

    If you are feeling hungry - food is served in the building on the left - they do very good sashimi and tofu sets and the tendon (shrimp and vegetable tempura rice bowl - 1000 yen) is delicious. Prices are about double what you would pay in Osaka.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Spa and Resort
    • Water Sports

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  • mikegr's Profile Photo

    Beneath Kurama-dera (a crypt?)

    by mikegr Written May 24, 2004

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    Candles beneath Kurama-dera

    When you go into the temple, Kurama-dera, don't miss the opportuinity to visit the crypt type place downstairs. There are stairs at both ends of the temple, but they are easy to miss if you are not looking for them.

    It is dimly illuminated with many lanterns hanging from the ceiling, and candles and smells of sandalwood, with hundreds of small urns on shelves.

    Calm and slightly spooky (when the florescent light is not on!) - well worth a look.

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    Dragon spring

    by mikegr Written May 24, 2004

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    A spring down the hill from Kurama-dera

    Just down the hill from Kurama -dera temple complex, check out this spring sculpted like a dragon. These are commonly seen around Japaense temples, and I love them. this is another one of my favourites.

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    Okuno-in Mao-den

    by mikegr Written May 24, 2004

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    Okuno-in Mao-den

    Okuno-in Mao-den is the first (and possibly most attractive) of the sub-temples encountered after leaving Kibune, on the walk towards Kurama, about 15-20 minutes up the path.

    The picture is of a structure which you can't approach, as it is behind a wall, however it looks really atmospheric, hidden in the trees.

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    Kibune-jinja ,Kibune - start of the walk to Kurama

    by mikegr Written May 24, 2004

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    The roof of kibune-jinja

    Kibune-jinja shrine in Kibune may not be the most stunning shrine ever, but it is well worth doing the short detour in Kibune village to see it. To get there walk through the large red tori gate on the left in Kibune, and follow the red lanterns up the steps.

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    A look at rural living

    by mikegr Written Jul 13, 2004

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    Rural Living - Kurama Village

    Kurama is a charming village, and walking through the village from the Kibune walk to the onsen will give you the opportunity to see rural life in (slow motion) action.

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Kurama Things to Do

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