Arashiyama
Neighborhoods • Scenic Walking Areas
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About
Arashiyama is a small town on the Oi River. Its moon-crossing bridge, Togetsu-kyo, is a beautiful, much-beloved wooden structure. Arishiyama also has Tenryu-ji temple, one of the 14 World Heritage Sites in Kyoto.
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Western Kyoto
Western Kyoto is home to some of the city's best eccentricities. Kyoto's Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street takes visitors back in time to the Meiji Period, where old homes have been transformed into tea houses and eateries. Pleasure boats drift down the riverbank, under wooden bridges that beckon nature lovers to hiking trails and botanical walks. The area's famously tall bamboo groves, monkey park, and impressive vistas during the Hanami cherry blossom viewing season mean that it is busiest in warmer months, though also gorgeous in the fall, when the mountains and hills along the banks turn multi-colored. Historic and engaging, even the rail cars in Western Kyoto seek to exemplify its traditional nature and scenic beauty. Many people, including natives, come to visit the 1,200 rakan statues at the Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple, which is still in use as a religious site.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
6,622 reviews
Excellent
3,499
Very good
2,252
Average
689
Poor
132
Terrible
50

Andy L
Irvine, CA60 contributions
Friends
We visited the bamboo forest on a sunny early morning for winter (8 am). It was a quiet walk with few people. The walk to the temple whose name I forgot was very nice. On a sunny day, you can see sun beams coming through the bamboo. It is outside the city of Kyoto, which requires a 30-45 min train ride to arrive. I would recommend going to Kinkaku after the visit to Arashiyama or vice versa, given that both must visit attractions are outside Kyoto and that a bus ride can take you from one to the other.
Written May 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,227 contributions
Arashiyama is one of my favorite places to go when visiting Kyoto. It is a town and district that starts at the base of the city's western hills, designated by Japan as both a Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty. My most recent trip here occurred in October 2019 when I took a traveling companion to see the area. We started at the Arashiyama end station for the Keifuku Randen Tram Line, a fun way to travel through neighborhoods that most tourists don't see.

This station features a stunning art installation, known as the Kimono Forest. The work displays 600 cylinder-shaped poles with traditionally dyed textile pieces, protected by transparent coverings. The poles cluster close together and flank a curving path, giving the impression of walking in the forest.

Temples and shrines abound. Tenryuji, a zen temple dating back to 1339 and a World Heritage Site, is perhaps the most interesting. We went through this temple's beautiful garden and walked to the North gate to exit and enter the nearby Bamboo Grove. It features soaring thick stalks on both sides of a broad walking path. Just off the grove sprawls Okochi-Sanso Villa, where the famous silent film actor Denjiro Okochi lived and where the grounds may be visited for an admission fee.

A monkey park exists in Arashiyama as well as the iconic Togetsu-Ko Bridge and the opportunity to watch cormorant fishing. Rental boats and bicycles are available. Restaurants, fast food and souvenir shops line the town's main street.

As Arashiyama is an extremely popular tourist attraction, I recommend coming here early on a weekday when the crowds have yet to form. Based on experience, try to avoid a weekend visit.
Written September 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jodiejones
Crawley, England, United Kingdom38 contributions
Couples
Incredible! Visiting the bamboo grove was by far our favourite day in Kyoto. If you want nice photos I recommend going there very early. We arrived around 6.30am and it was beautiful. There were not too many people there however when it got to around 8am the crowds started gathering.
Written August 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SanneTravel
Groningen, The Netherlands112 contributions
Couples
I know, I know, three stars for such a gorgeous sight? Hear me out. Yes, the insanely tall bamboo was truly gorgeous, and the sound it creates when the bamboo hit each other is quite magical. However, trying to avoid all the tourists while trying to enjoy the sight was quite a task. I guess we arrived too late, large groups of tourists were already there. We enjoyed the area behind the bamboo forest, and the shopping street. Note for the train heading to arashiyama: don't check in at your first stop, you have to pay 220 yen (in cash, or with your ic card) when you get out of the train, regardless of where you get out.
Written February 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

HotRodHeart
France124 contributions
Lets be clear, its' a nice place.
But most of the time, you will not enjoy a peaceful stroll in a bamboo grove, feeling like you traveled the old days of the samurai... Instead, you will be surrounded by Instagram photo snapping tourists, and many shouting to each other like no one else is there. And most yukata wearing girls you'll see will be tourists.

It's also important to remember that this is not some wild bamboo field laying around for tourists to enjoy. The owners are cultivating bamboos to use them and sell them for craftmen. So please refrain from writing your name on it, or throwing your trash around...
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Catharina
6 contributions
I was fortunate to visit the town and its attractions during a period when there were no tourists. The bamboo forest is worth a visit, a walk in the forest gives a unique feeling. And during a hot day, the forest provides shade. There are beautiful temples and temple gardens close to the forest, e.g., Tenryuji temple. Pictures taken in the forest cannot quite describe how beautiful it is from the inside and all the sounds you hear in the forest. The city itself is also nice to walk around. A bit later in fall the colors must be amazing. There are lots of small shops and restaurants to spend several hours in. The train ride from Kyoto station was surprisingly long but once you are there, you have everything in walking distance. Bring good walking shoes! The rickshaw rides also seemed to be popular, especially by young Japanese couples. Do not forget the other attractions in Arashiyama while you are there: Togetsukyo bridge and Daikakuji temple where on my list. I recommend to spend an entire day in Arashiyama.
Written September 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

71emma
Kuching, Malaysia480 contributions
Again, we used our JR Pass, this time to take the JR train to Saga-Arashiyama Station. It took about half an hour.
We followed the flow of crowds. It was quite a distance. We were strolling and enjoying the scenery of Japanese houses when we caught sight of light brown bamboo groves. We thought those were the famous 'Arashiyama Bamboo Groves' and were rather disappointed, until the younger ones laughingly told us those were not it, that the actual Bamboo Groves was still a distance away.
Excitedly, we quickened our pace. When we finally caught sight of the actual green Bamboo Groves, we were very happy and began taking pictures. However, as we continued to walk about a further 10 metres or so, we all caught our breath!! At a distance away, the place where the path split into two, with more light around that intersection, was the most awe-inspiring, mesmerizing scenery ever! We were totally speechless and enthralled!
Wow! So, this was it! How delighted we were! My sisters quickly took videos. Because of the ongoing crowds, it was rather hard to take personal pics.
And it was quite an impossible feat to catch what we really saw with naked eyes on handphone! It took us quite sometime, using different spots and angles. We gave up in the end. Perhaps it would need a professional cameraman. As it was, we had to make do with what we caught.
We continued to walk to the exact spot which had so captivated us, but it was not as beautiful there, as from a distance.
The younger ones were anxious to finish the climb to the peak, to see monkeys and left us to explore the bamboo groves on our own.
Truly, this is a 'must-visit' if one visits Kyoto. We were so glad we made it.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Zoe B
Perth, Australia160 contributions
Couples
We only thought this was just a massive forest with bamboo and that's all it was, but we were wrong. We saw a beautiful lake from atop a lookout and went for a boat ride as there were boats you could hire for an hour and go for a row along the river.

There was a bit of construction going on while we were there but if you go when the cherry blossoms are out it would be very pretty.

If you want to pay ¥1000 you can walk through a garden and have a Japanese tea and some biscuits either before or after you look around a traditional house and a garden
Written April 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Siddharth B
Seattle, WA546 contributions
When I first entered the bamboo garden, I felt very underwhelmed. There were few bamboos on either side, and then it got over. However thankfully we kept walking and we were greeted by huge bamboo on both sides for quite a distance. We went around 5 pm, it was getting slightly dark and was the perfect time of the day. You won’t be walking inside a bamboo forest though, just will have huge bamboo on both sides and the central road is paved for walking. No vehicles are allowed, so it makes for a nice stroll despite quantity of tourists. It is worth the hype, and we’re glad we did it resulting in very picturesque photos.
Written February 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

hfot2 🌸🍁🌸
Vermont6,834 contributions
We have visited here many times. For our November 2019 visit, we decided we would stay for 3 nights to be fully immersed in the place.

One advantage of staying for several nights is that you have a lot of freedom to decide where to go and when to go. You can check out the crowds, the weather, and, in our case, the state of play of the foliage. Day trippers are encouraged to come early to avoid the crowds - if you spend the night, it is very easy to do this and the first hour or so of the morning you almost have the area to yourself. Another advantage of staying overnight is you don’t feel rushed to see everything possible in one day; you can spend time walking the back streets and neighborhoods to get a feel for the place and not just rush through the tourist hot spots. We found a few small neighborhood temples which were very peaceful and were likely never visited by many tourists.

One disadvantage of staying overnight is that most restaurants close early. We self-catered for 2 of the 3 nights, taking a very long walk to the supermarket from our hotel to stock up for 2 evening meals so we could cook in our hotel suite’s microwave. The hotel staff could not believe that we walked the distance from the hotel to the Fresco Saga Supermarket and back, but we did.

Stay overnight, even for one night if you can, it’s worth it.
Written September 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Arashiyama (Kyoto) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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