Recommended day trip itinerary for the Sagano and Arashiyama area Located just 15 minutes from JR Kyoto Station, Sagano and Arashiyama are pretty easy to access. Covered in lush nature, they offer a glimpse of Kyoto different from the central area of Gion.
These areas are renowned for cherry blossoms in the springtime as well as fall foliage.


Breathtaking views at Togetsukyo Bridge

The Togetsukyo Bridge spans over Arashiyama’s Oi River. Standing at 155 meters, the bridge offers spectacular views of Arashiyama. Every year on August 16, the last day of the Obon festival, more than 6000 lanterns are set afloat as an offering for ancestors on the still waters of Oi River. It makes for an enchanting sight. There’s also a fall foliage festival held in November.

■Togetsukyo Bridge


Lunch: Shojin cuisine at Tenryuji Temple

Tenryuji Temple is a world heritage site.The temple restaurant, Shigetsu, offers shojin ryori― Buddhist vegetarian cuisine.This kind of cuisine was originally passed down from China in the Kamakura Era (1185- 1333). Shojin food has been eaten by zen practitioners. There’s no meat or seafood used; it’s only made with vegetables or wild plants. You can get a taste of traditional flavors through rustic and delicate dishes such as yuba, beans, and stewed butterbur shoot. Each of these dishes are carefully plated, making them a treat for the eyes as well as the palate. Tenryuji Temple’s Sogen Pond Garden is also a must-see.

■Tenryuji Shigetsu
Address:68 SuzukinoBaba-cho, Saga Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan
Open hour:11:00~14:00


A beautiful tunnel of green― Arashiyama’s bamboo grove


Arashiyama’s bamboo grove is known to be a rejuvenating spot. The beautiful green bamboo tunnel spans about 400 meters. The sunlight glistening between the bamboo leaves illuminate the path. You can hear the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind and breathe in the aroma of the bamboos all around. The area is illuminated at night every year in mid December. The bamboos basking in the soft gold light makes for an amazing sight.

■Arashiyama’s bamboo grove


Stunning views from a train― the Sagano Scenic Railway


You can get on this train from the Torokko Arashiyama Station, just past the forest. It runs at the leisurely pace of 25 km per hour, so you can gaze at the stunning natural views overlooking ravines and the Hozugawa river. The autumn season has particularly spectacular views, with the Sagano area tinged with shades of red and gold. We recommend the open carriage which doesn’t have any glass windows. It’s a great way to feel the gentle breeze as you ride. On your way back, we also recommend going down Hozugawa River on a boat!

■The Sagano Scenic Railway
Address:11-1, Saga-Tenryuji Kurumamichicho, Ukyō, Kyoto, Kyoto

The Sagano and Arashiyama area offers fantastic views throughout the year. If you’re paying a visit to Kyoto, do drop by Arashiyama as well.