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.
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
Arashiyama is a romantic day trip, with a park, and a river to row boats on. But, you cannot miss the monkeys! You have to climb a small hill to get to the monkeys, but it's well worth it, and, if lots of little kids can do it, so can you! The monkeys are free range, and it's the visitors who go inside a hut with fencing so they can feed the monkeys with penuts. They are just fascinating to watch, with their distinct & quirky personalities, and their intelligent eyes. The monkeys do tend to have an obsession with grooming each other though! Careful not to stare at the monkeys in the eyes, or they feel challenged and may show aggression! You will get some awesome photo closeups and chances to take funny monkey photos. Check out mine in my Travelogues!
There's an observation platform as well, where you can look out over Kyoto city.
The opening hours are everyday between 9:00am and 4:30pm.
For a change of pace from the many temples in Kyoto we found it great to take 1/2 a day in Arashiyama (North West Kyoto). A short walk from the Saga-Arashiyama JR Station is an area of bamboo forest that you can wander through. It was very peaceful when we were there and was great to see the towering bamboo.
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!
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 is a great place to spend a beautiful day. There are plenty of food vendors ("yatai") so there's no need to eat at any restaurants. It's located right next to Katsura River and has excellent views of the mountains.
Taking a walk in the park, you'll run into a bamboo forest that's dark and eerie, but strangely beautiful. You can also take the Toroko "Romantic" Train which winds its way through a wonderful gorge.
Have some yakiimo (baked sweet potato) while you're there!
This western area of Kyoto is beautiful. Tranquil, peaceful, calm. The scenery amazing & breathtaking.
You can see the famous Togetsu-kyo Bridge, Nison-in Temple, Monkey Park, Tehryuji Temple, & some interesting museums & souvenir shops.
Once you arrive in Arashiyama, everyone just walks from place to place. Clean air, nice people, lots to see. You can take a bus or rent a bicycle if you want but I think walking is best. Wear comfortable shoes when you come here!
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!
Use Arashiyama as a base for visiting the temples in the vicinity (Jojakoji, Tenryuji). Walk around the farmhouses and bamboo plots for that feeling of old-Japan.
Also try the dofu ice-cream - yummy!!!
This has gotta be one of my top 10 spots to bring your girl, and bring your camera. If you visit Arashiyama in the autumn then you'll catch the endless colors of falling leaves and that hypnotising autumn aroma. Your girl will love it and thats a Jason in Japan guarantee! Following your hike though the forrest, your girls feet may feel a little sore as well as your own, so i recommend you max and relax in an outdoor foot onsen (hot spring). The cost is 100 yen and you don't have to take off all of your cloths. Which means you can share the relaxing moment together. Or i'm sure there are plenty of love hotels in the area if you'd prefer to relax there.
Visiting historic temples and shrines are not the only activities while you are in Arashiyamaarea. Visit Iwatayama, or a monkey mountain, where you can see groups of Japanese monkeys living in natural environment. Also you can enjoy a splendid view of a city of Kyoto from the onbervatory room on the top of the mountain. You can enjoy short hiking as well.
You can actually feed peanuts to mokeys. They will come close to you and you just frindly hand over your peanuts to them. (You must buy mokey peanuts there.)
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
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..
Take the train bound for Arashiyama from Kyoto station and walk.
Possibly the best shrines in the Arashiyama area with autumn foliage view.
Ooh and aah at the reds, oranges and yellows of the foliage and breathe in the fresh air (since vehicles are banned from the vicinity).