Arashiyama is a located on the western outskirts of Kyoto. It may not seem convenient but still, many tourists flock to this district because there’s lots to see, especially if it’s your first time to Kyoto.
Here’s a list of places that you can visit at Arashiyama!
#1 Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Forest
If you only have time for 1 place, this would be it – Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. The bamboo forest is not exactly visible from the main road and you will have to walk in to be able to reach this place. You should have no problem locating this place as there will be signs around to direct you.
The forest is not as big as I thought but it’s really just a stretch of road with bamboo on both sides of the road.
It’s quite hard to take a good shot here due to the number of visitors but the best time to visit is definitely early in the morning. The morning light will make the place look very dreamy!
#2 Oi River
Outside the bamboo forest, you can see Oi River. It is a shallow and slow moving river but it will offer very scenic views.
#3 Togetsukyo Bridge
Togetsukyo Bridge which also means “moon-crossing bridge” is a popular scenic spot especially during the cherry blossom season or autumn.
The name of the bridge was given by Emperor Kameyama who saw a the moon rising above the river.
#4 Tenryu-ji Temple
Tenryu-ji Temple is now registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside the temple is a scenic garden featuring a large pond where you can see the reflection of the rocks and leaves in the background.
Tenryu-ji Temple is also the head and most important temple of the Tenryu sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.
#5 Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama
For the fit and adventurous, you can take the chance to visit Arashiyama Monkey Park. It requires you make a steep climb for about about 30-45 minutes before you reach the top. At the top of the mountain, not only you will get to play with the monkeys, you will also get a magnificent view of Kyoto.
Along the main road, outside the entrance of Tenryi-ji temples, you will find many restaurants and shops by the road. You can either have your meals here or do some simple shopping.
There are also some snack shops outside Arashiyama station.
#7 Ukai (Cormorant Fishing)
Ukai is a traditional fishing method which has been around for over 1300 years. They use trained cormorants to catch river fish. However, this activity only takes place during the summer months.
These are some of the activities that you can plan to do, depending on your schedule. Since you have made an effort to travel here, might as well do as many as you can. :)