Arashiyama has a nice village atmosphere, with a main street full of interesting shops and cafes, surrounded by fields and forests.
The big attractions, Tenryuji and the bamboo forest are worth seeing, but I think it's also worthwhile getting away from these to some of the other temples and side roads. These are a lot quieter and there are some real gems. I enjoyed Nisonin, where the monks were very welcoming, and a small shrine by a lake.
After walking around all morning and then having lunch, I finished my visit to Arashiyama with a visit to the footbath at Randen Arashiyama station. I highly recommend this for soothing tired feet!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.