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A Memorable Day Amidst Nature in Arashiyama
Bamboo Grove is the star attraction of the place. There is nothing like walking along the narrow lane bordered on both sides by Bamboos. The one-of-a-kind experience cannot be described in words. Stroll around in the shade of high rising bamboos savoring the unique beauty that enthralls every passer-by. You can always click pictures, but being the most crowded attraction of Arashiyama, it may be difficult for you to find a good and undisturbed click.
Tenyru-Ji Temple is a 14th Century Zen temple and a World Heritage Site. Its quaint charm and tranquil ambiance are beautifully complemented by a picturesque garden comprising an equally majestic pond. The beautiful garden borrows its design from the steep mountains of Arashiyama.
Togetsukyo Bridge, literally meaning Moon Crossing Bridge is an important historic attraction of the place. Built-in 794 during the Heian period, this old bridge with an age of over 400 years was originally made of wood. It was redeveloped in the 1930s using concrete and steel. Besides its historic legacy, the bridge is also visited for its picturesque offerings. At one side you can see the breathtakingly beautiful forested mountains and the other you will witness the charming cherry trees. People also visit the bridge to feed the Koi living in water.
Okochi-Sanso Villa is one amongst the finest imperial properties of Arashiyama open for public access. Enjoy a walk through the gorgeous villa and its lovely gardens which were once the residence of Okochi Denjiro, a famous actor. As you explore the property enjoy a cup of hot Matcha tea along with a delicious Japanese sweet.
Evade the crowds and enjoy a quiet afternoon in this beautiful hilltop park that offers tranquil beauty to its visitors. Unwind yourself in its serene ambiance away from the crowd. After spending some quality 'me-time' amidst nature continue your exploration pursuit. Walk through the different trails that hold numerous surprises for you. If you get lucky you might encounter one or two snow monkeys.
Nison-in Temple is another pleasant hideout from the otherwise crowded Arashiyama. This Buddhist Tendai sect temple is known for the maple trees present in the vicinity. As you head to the temple you will be welcomed by a lovely arcade of cherry and maple trees that will lead you through the main hall.
The rustic old charm of Rakushisha poet's hut makes it a popular attraction of Arashiyama. The quaint hut with a thatched roof is said to house one of the disciples of Haiku Master.
How to Get Tickets?
Arashiyama town is free to access. There are no entrance tickets for the majority of attractions like the Bamboo Grove or various temples. However other facilities like cruising on the river, train services are charged. Also, there is an admission fee to Okachi-Sanso Villa and Rakushisha poet's hut.
How To Get Around?
Packed with numerous attractions, Arashiyama can be best explored on foot. It isn't big and most of the attractions are nearby. Further, the pleasant scenery scattered around will pamper you all through the way and you will not even feel any sort of fatigue. If walking is not an option for you, then you can also rent a bike to visit the attractions of Arashiyama. You can also opt for a ride on Sagano Scenic Railway also known as Sagano Romantic Train. It would take you to some beautiful sights along the Hozugawa river. Another interesting way of exploring the beauty of Arashiyama is to cruise on Hozugawa river. Have a memorable time sailing in a traditional flat-bottomed boat that will take you through some of the pristine locations.
What Should I Wear?
There is no dress code to the place hence you can wear whatever you wish to. Anything casual and comfortable will work. As you will be walking a lot, your footwear should be comfortable too. If hiking up to the monkey hill is in your priority list, then make sure your shoes are comfortable and meant for hiking.
Best Time to Visit
To get the best view of Arashiyama's beauty, plan your trip during the fall or spring season. The fall season is from October to November and spring season is from March to May. The busiest month for tourism is May. Arashiyama and its major attractions remain overcrowded during most part of the year, hence if you wish to enjoy some quiet time in the flawless scenery undisturbed, then the best time to visit will be early morning.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, you will not require the services of a guide as the place is not big enough and you can explore it as you will. Enjoy boating, hiking or just capturing the scenic beauty around. You can rest in the beautiful gardens and have some delicious cuisines at the restaurants.
How To Get There?
Though lying in the outskirts of Kyoto, Arashiyama is easily accessible. You can reach the place by taking a train, bus or private taxi. The fastest and the best mode of transportation would be Train. You can take the Keifuku Electric Railroad from central Kyoto or Hankyu Arashiyama Line from Katsura. Local trains run at regular intervals from Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station. From there, the Arashiyam Bamboo Grove is just a 10-minute walk away. Follow the signs put up at regular intervals to reach your destination.