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My favorite place
I think the people who lives here are the luckiest! If you love nature, this place is a must-see! I would not forget how the place smells in spring time...
From Arashiyama, I walked around 20 minutes going to the Bamboo Garden. It was hard to find the right route as the signs there are not in English and people barely speak English. Anyway, these kind Japanese men and women help me using sign language to finally find my way to the Bamboo Forest. Even though I got lost, I enjoyed walking around the residential area. The smell of the place is really different, it smells like pine trees and flowers, it is so refreshing!
I passed over a nice temple (which I forgot the name, sorry!)
Since it is spring time, what can you expect to see but flowers! Everywhere!
I am lucky that there are only less than 10 tourist exploring this beauty considering it’s late already (8 am), I am also lucky that these tourist, usually solo traveler like me from Singapore and Korea are nice enough to take picture of me too!
The one kilometer walk is not tiresome especially if you are surrounded by fresh smelling bamboo.
After few minutes of walking, I ended up in Tenryu-ji Temple. Pay 500 yen for the entrance.
- Arts and Culture
Hozu River, Arashiyama
The picturesque Hozu River (Hozugawa) flows through Arashiyama. The Hozu was in the past used to transport logs for the construction of many of Kyoto’s temples, and for Osaka’s castle. During the Edo Period it also carried grain, firewood and other cargo, but trains and road haulage made river transport obsolete, and operations ceased after several hundred years of use. Today its boats are purely a tourist attraction. This is a popular place for a boat trip on the white water (not, despite some descriptions I’ve seen, proper “white water rafting”), but when we were in Kyoto the water was too low for these trips to be running – something to be aware of if you’re hoping to do such a trip.
But we did get to see a little of the river from its banks in Arashiyama. There were quite a few cormorants, and we spotted a lone fisherman (photos two and three) apparently making his way home. We did wait a while hoping that he would cast his traditional net but it seemed fishing was over for the morning and we waited in vain.
So we soon left and headed over to the main temple we had come here to see, Tenryuji.
The Bamboo Grove of Arashiyama
Apart from its temples, Arashiyama is also famous for its extensive grove of bamboo, which lies just to the north of Tenryū-ji Temple. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries.
Many visitors to Kyoto come here simply to see this grove, and it can get busy on the main path, as we found. I have seen pictures showing an empty path winding through the tall stems of bamboo, but if such a path exists, we didn’t find it, and I actually found the bamboo within the gardens of Tenryū-ji to have more atmosphere. But here it was fun to share the walk with lots of excited Japanese visitors, many of the girls in kimono, though we had to be quick at times to jump out of the path of the rickshaws that hurtled past, carrying more of these visitors!
Nevertheless it was quiet enough in places for us to be able to enjoy listening to the strange sounds the bamboo made whenever a breeze blew through the grove (it must be amazing on a windy day). But most of all I loved photographing the bamboo and trying to do justice to its subtle tones and geometric shapes.
Near the grove we also stumbled upon a small shrine, Nonomiya, which was a pleasure to visit.
Tofuchaya Saga Tofu Sanchu - Arashiyama
Tōfuchaya Saga Tōfu Sanchū (嵯峨豆腐三忠) is a small street-side stand in Arashiyama st the entrance to the bamboo forest. We stopped here for a quick snack before hiking into the forest, and we enjoyed corn on the cob, Chinese-style dumplings, fried chicken, grilled pineapple, and a few bottles of water. The food is simple, but freshly made right in front of customers, or those in a hurry can grab the pre-made snacks. Prices are cheap, 200-300 Yen per item, and this booth is extremely popular due to its great location.
Arasiyama Bamboo Forest
Arasiyama Bamboo Forest is a great place for a stroll or bike ride when visiting Arashiyama. The forest has a one to two kilometer trail, that takes visitors through some amazing bamboo. The trail reminds you of what Japan must have been like 100 years ago, except for the frequent taxis that haul tourists to the local sites.
Near the entrance to the bamboo groves is Tenryuji Temple, founded in 1339 (500 Yen admission to the gardens, another 100 Yen for the buildings). This is one of Kyoto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the city's top Zen Buddhist temples.
To the western end of the bamboo forest is Okochi Sanso Villa, the house of a popular Japanese actor from the early 1900s (Admission is 1000 Yen). Here you can walk through some nice gardens, but the buildings are closed to guests.
Arashiyama District - Western Kyoto
Arashiyama (嵐山), or Storm Mountain, is the name of a mountain and a nearby neighborhood in western Kyoto. This area is popular among residents of Kyoto and visitors alike, as a nearby retreat from the city, offering natural beauty and some cultural sites.
The main cultural and historical sites are the shrines and temples. Most notable is the Matsuo Shrine, on the west side of the river, which was established in 700 AD. Also nearby is the Buddhist temple, Tenryū-ji, completed in 1394 and part of the Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage Site. Another famous landmark is the Togetsukyo, crossing the Katsura and Oi Rivers.
The natural beauty may be even greater than the cultural sites. The mountains and rivers form a peaceful backdrop on the edge of the city, and the nearby mountains have a monkey park with 170 wild Japanese macaque monkeys. The area also has the great Sagano bamboo forest, and shops selling a variety of bamboo goods.
Now this was a great day escape from Kyoto. We took a nice ambling bus ride to Arashiyama, a little bit daunting when you don't really know where you are going, but stick with it and you will arrive. We made our way to the train station, which was a little tricky to find, but once again, stick with it and you'll find it too. Take the Sagano Romantic Train trip, followed by the Hozu River Boat Ride, which takes you back to the centre of Arashiyama. Once back there, stroll the streets, enjoy some lunch, visit Tenryuji Temple, take a pleasure boat ride - anything your heart desires. But if you are there in Spring you MUST try a Sakura flavoured Ice Cream. I've never tasted anything so gorgeous. I thought this was just a wonderful day and would recommend it to anyone.
Make sure you leave a whole day for this trip though. And keep an eye out for Geishas.
Hozu River Boat Ride - http://www.hozugawakudari.jp/en
Sagano Romantic Train Ride - http://www.sagano-kanko.co.jp/eng/index.htm
a must a must a must
i took a very simple tour and very interesting one. i started by walking in the amazing bambo shoots road and from there i entered one gate of Tenryuji Temple which is amazingly beautifull place. we exit from the other gate which will take us to the famous Togetsukyo Bridge and along our way we enjoyed shopping in japans folkloric shops. in a short walk after the bridge we reached the monkey land.
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Arashiyama encompasses much of Western Kyoto. Although there are many worthwhile temples in the area (covered in separate tips), there is also a lot you can see for free!
One of the famous attractions in the area is the bamboo forest. It is fairly large and is great to meander through. Within the forest is Nonomiya Shrine, which was once where shrine maidens (miko) were trained prior to going to Ise Shrine, the holiest of all Shinto shrines.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is another famous landmark in Arashiyama. The Hozu River, over which the bridge is built, is also worth seeing. If you cross the bridge (towards Monkey Park) and walk along the river in the direction of Daihikaku Temple, the river transforms into a beautiful array of greens and blues. There are boat tours available.
There are also a few interesting monuments. In Nakanoshima Park (the island that the bridge goes through), there is a stone monument for Peace between China and Japan. Slightly removed from the main part of Arashiyama is the monument to the Chinese poet Zhou Enlai who wrote poems about Arashiyama.
Above all else, Arashiyama is famous for its mountainside covered in cherry trees. It is gorgeous in the spring when the trees are in bloom and in the autumn when the leaves are changing!
- Budget Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Beautiful Arashiyama
I took a train from Shijo-Omiya to Arashiyama. At first we did not even plan to go to Arashiyama. It just that we stay in Shijo-Omiya and i notice this cute train and wonder where it go to. I look at the train map and saw that the last station is Arashiyama and the ticket price is not expensive. So we go back to the hotel and did some reading in VT.
When we reach the station, we were so surprise. Is this Arashiyama-the place is so diffrence than the city. Since we did not have any guide or map when we arrived we decide to just follow the obachan to which ever direction they go. Then we saw the river, the boat and everything. This place is so peaceful and beautiful. And a lot of place to eat.
I plan to go there again on my next trip to Kyoto *_^
Arashiyama sakura train
From late March to early April there is "sakura train" that runs from Arashiyama (keifuku-train station, not JR) to hakubaicho station. The train will pass the road that both left and right sides were full with sakura trees. You can enjoy sakura from the train. The train was different from Romantic train.
Train fee is 200 yen for one ride.
Arashiyama: combining nature's beauty with culture
Arashiyama is a pleasant district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. Its landmark is the wooden (now partially concrete) Togetsukyo Bridge with forested Mount Arashiyama as backdrop.
There are many things to see and do in the Arashiyama area. Tenryuji, a leading Zen temple, shops, cafes and restaurants are found in the district's busy center around Togetsukyo Bridge and Keifuku Arashiyama Station.
North of the central area, there are bamboo groves and a residential district with several small temples, scattered along the base of the wooded mountains.
Arashiyama is best explored on foot or by rental bicycle. If you don't feel up to it, you could hire a rickshaw but it will set you back a hefty Y8000 for a half hour ride for two!
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Different faces of Arashiyama
Yes, this is a crowded tourist spot, but beyond the sourvenir lined streets, there is a charm about this place which diferentiate it from Kyoto. From the Hankyu Arashiyama station, walk past teh souvenir shops, grab a bite of their green tea ice cream, eat a corroke, walk along the banks of the river, cross the bridge to the real town, see the shop which sells custom made musical box, go up the hill to the temple. Really, this is a town of many facets..
- Historical Travel
- Women's Travel
Kameoka to Arashiyama River Boat Trip
Hop on the train from Kyoto to Kameoka. From Kameoka station it's a 5-10min walk to the boats, just follow signs. Sign up and pay when entering the building and you're named will be called out when it's your turn to board. There's a kiosk in the wainting room selling snacks and sodas. Boats leave frequently and when I went it's was a busy day but still waiting time wasn't more then 30min.
Boats are poled along Hozu River and the trip takes about 2 hours and give you plenty of time to explore Arashiyama afterwords. Its just a more interesting way of getting there, sliding down waterfalls and gliding past a green mountainious scenery and turtles sunbathing on rocks...
A highlight is when the boat makes a break when it has reached halfway and a kiosk-boat appears from nowhere and sell snacks and icecold drinks! (See pic).
Boats depart daily between 9:00 and 15:30 (between 10:00 and 14:30 from December to mid March). Cost: 3900 Yen per person.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Admiring the beauty of Arashiyama
To me, Arashiyama is a lovely outdoor park, perfect for all seasons. I was told that autumn was the best time to visit as the trees put on quite a show dressed in their wonderful display of colours. We were early yet again, but we were still impressed by its freshness and serenity.
Here's a glimpse of how we spent a day here. Most of the details are in the travelogue as it's too much to fit here :
- visit Tenruji Temple
- walk through the bamboo grove
- took the Sagano Romantic train to Kameoka
- experience the spectacular boat ride down Hozu River
- Historical Travel
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