Arashiyama has many attractions. The four we concentrated on was the monkey park, Togetsukyo Bridge,Tenryuji Temple and the Bamboo Forest, in that order. We traveled on the subway from Kawaramachi Station to Hankyu Station and transferred to the Hankyu Arashiyama Station which took about 30 or 40 minutes to Arashiyama. I have to mention the subway ticket machines do not have an English option and the machines only take 1000 yen notes. We were so lucky that a very nice Japanese lady walked us through the process and made sure we got onto the correct train. If you are going to travel around, the Kyoto travel pass may be a great option so there is no figuring out how to work the different ticket machines and buy seperate passes and tickets for the different modes of transportation.
The Arashiyama Station is a short walk to the Monkey Park. The Monkey Park is on the top of a mountain that is a 20 minute steep hike. Once at the top of the mountain there is an enclosure for humans with a toilet. Here the monkeys can be fed through the caging; and they expected to be fed! The monkeys roam free outside the enclosure and do not bother the humans.; just follow the directions on the signs to avoid confrontation.
The views of the city are incredible from the mountain and well worth the hike.
Back down the mountain exits at the river and a short distance to the bridge. Before crossing the bridge there is a strip of restaurants and a pleasant outside park area to rest.
The bridge is heavily traveled with vehicles and pedestrians. On the other side of the bridge is a tourist area with shops, restaurants and bus parking - this area is crowded. We found delicious ice cream, fried tofu treats and some nice souvenirs.
As we walked toward the temple we ate at a fun little cafe with very good katsudon and tofu plates.
We walked the gardens of Tenryuji Temple which are very nice even in February, not much blooming but very well manicured. The walk through the gardens exits to the Bamboo Forest. There is a walking path through a very tall forest of bamboo. The walk is not very long but worth the visit, which exits at the scenic railroad. Unfortunately the railway was not running in February so we did not get to travel on the train.
We walked to the JR station for our return trip back to Kyoto Station; this walk is long, about 20 minutes, but luckily we past some food outlets with yummy tofu ice cream.
If you have a full day, visiting Arashiyama is well worth the trip. Just remember that Arashiyama is a tourist area and very crowded, so go early. Also if you want authentic Japanese souvenirs be sure to check the trinkets closely or you may end up with Chinese goods.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.