Arashiyama District in Kyoto

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  • Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

    Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

  • Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

    Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

  • Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

    Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

  • Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

    Arashiyama Togetsukyo Bridge

  • Arashiyama Boats

    Arashiyama Boats

  • Arashiyama Tenryuji Temple

    Arashiyama Tenryuji Temple

  • Arashiyama Rakushisha Residence

    Arashiyama Rakushisha Residence

  • Arashiyama Rakushisha Residence

    Arashiyama Rakushisha Residence

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

    Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

  • Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

    Arashiyama Bamboo Groves

  • Arashiyama Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple 1200 Statues

    Arashiyama Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple 1200 Statues

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Facts & Figures

Arashiyama ("Storm Mountain") is a very popular district for Japanese tourists especially during cherry blossom season (hanami) and autumn. The district located in the western outskirt of Kyoto is a nationally designated Historic Site. After your arrival you will see the famous landmark the Togetsukyo Bridge ("Moon Crossing Bridge"), which spans over the Hozu River. Best Ryokans in Kyoto Explore Ryokans in Kyoto >
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions.
The whole district is full of interesting sightseeing spots like Tenryuji Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site), beautiful and well-known Bamboo Groves, Daikakuji Temple, Sagano area and many more. My recommendation explore the Arashiyama district, a Place of Scenic Beauty, by bicycle. You can easily rent one for 1000 yen.

My tips for local activities

Explore the best parts of my favourite city Kyoto with a local guide. The personalized tour can take between 2 - 8 hours. Check out this page > for more details.


Arashiyama's popularity is dating back till the Heian Period (794-1185). The natural beauty of this area was well-known under the ruling class.


Map of Japan

Arashiyama is located 10 km west of the Kyoto city center.
Address: Arashiyama, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

How to get to Arashiyama?

  • 15min from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama by JR Sagano Line or
  • 20min from Kyoto Omiya Station to Arashiyama by Keifuku Arashiyama Line

Sightseeing spots


Tenryuji Temple - UNESCO World Heritage Site was built in 1339, belongs to the five great Zen temples in Kyoto, do not miss the beautiful gardens Read more >

Arashiyama Sagano Bamboo Grove - is one of the top sightseeing spots in Kyoto, walk through the grove and enjoy the moment Read more >

Kameyama-koen Park - nice hilltop park, watch out for the monkeys

Rakushisha Residence or Poet’s Hut - Mukai Kyorai a haiku poet lived here in the 17th century, he was the student of Basho Matsuo one of the most famous poets in Japan Read more >

Okochi-Sanso Villa - actor Okochi Denjiro (1896-1962) was the owner of this place, the building itself is not open for the public

Otagi Nenbutsuji Temple - the temple is known for its 1200 small statues

Adashino-Nembutsuji Temple - founded by priest Kukai (Kobo Daishi) in 811, the temple ground is covered by 8000 Buddhist statuettes to memorialize the souls of the dead

Monkey Park Iwatayama - more than 170 wild monkeys enjoy the park life

Gioji Temple - small temple with an amazing green moss garden

Jojakkoji Temple - built in 1596, the location offers great views over Kyoto

Hozu River Boat Tour - enjoy the 16 km ride down the river and yes you will get wet:)

Daikakuji Temple - at first a villa of Emperor Saga and later turned into a temple in 876, it is the birthplace of the Ikebana school Saga Goryu

Nisonin Temple - belongs to the Tendai sect, built in the 9th century

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)


Miyako Odori (1st - 31th)
The traditional annual spring dance of the Kyoto district Gion Kobu performed by Geiko and Maiko is a must-see on your Kyoto visit. Don't miss the most popular dances the Miyako Odori "Cherry Blossom Dances" or "Dances of the Old Capital" at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo Theater (located close to Gion Corner).


Aoi Matsuri (15th)
The highlight of this festival is a large parade from Imperial Palace through Shimogamo Shrine to the Kamo Shrines. More than 500 people wearing aristocratic costumes from the Heian Period (794 - 1185). The Aoi Matsuri belongs with the Gion Matsuri and Jidai Matsuri to the three most famous festivals in Kyoto.

Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri (third Sunday of May)
The first part is held at the Kuramazaki Shrine. Later a procession is leading to the Oi River, where more ceremonies and traditional dances (Funa Asobi) are held. The Arashiyama Mifune Matsuri started in 1914.


Gion Matsuri (whole month)
The month July is full of different events like the Yoiyama - Kyoto's Magical Night (locals in kimonos look at the giant Gion floats the day before the parade) or the famous Yamaboko Junko (float procession on the 17th of July).


Jidai Matsuri ("Festival of Ages") (22nd)
People celebrate with a large parade between Imperial Palace to Heian Shrine the anniversary of the foundation of Kyoto. App. 2000 participants wearing historical costumes from different time periods. Enjoy this great festival which last around 2 hours.

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Yokohama Street Scene

I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
Find out more >

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My recommended books about Japan

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