The Arashiyama area consists of two areas, Arashiyama and Sagano. There are not only rich cultural attractions, but also natural scenery and retro trains that change with the seasons. Arashiyama has many ancient temples and shrines, and Tenryu Temple is a world heritage site.


Arashiyama is in the far west of Kyoto, tucked along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains (meaning “Storm Mountains”). It’s a fair distance from the center of Kyoto: whether you go by train, bus, bicycle or taxi, you’re generally looking at about a 30-minute trip. Still, it’s worth it for the number of great sights here.


Arashiyama becomes most attractive (and busy) around early April and the second half of November when the cherry blossom and fall color seasons usually peak. During the summer months, traditional cormorant fishing is practiced on the Hozu River for tourists to watch. Another good time to visit is during December's Hanatoro illumination, when lanterns line the streets and bamboo groves. The walking paths that cut through the bamboo groves make for a nice walk or bicycle ride. The groves are particularly attractive when there is a light wind and the tall bamboo stalks sway gently back and forth. The bamboo has been used to manufacture various products, such as baskets, cups, boxes and mats at local workshops for centuries.


There are many well-established restaurants, confectionery shops, and cute grocery stores in the Arashiyama area. You can also rent kimonos. It is a great place to slow down and discover. In particular, there are many shops selling small snacks around Togetsu Bridge. The ice cream at Arashiyama's "Kyouzuan" is very popular, and it won't drip even if it is turned upside down, making it a well-known dessert. Those who want to eat a bit more recommend the freshly fried croquette. You can eat croquette with different ingredients in several stores.