Most tourist, having only a little time, naturally stick to the main tourist attractions such as the Silver or Golden Pavillon, the famous Kiyomizudera or the Heian Shrine in the more central parts of Kyoto.
But with a little more time, a one-day/half-day trip to Arashiyama and surrounding areas in the west of Kyoto provides a good alternative.
Arashiyama is situated in a wonderful setting of natural scenery, surrounded by green mountains on all sides. The very heart of Arashiyama is the famous Togetsu brigde, spanning over the beautiful Katsura river.
For more information about Arashiyama and area go to http://www.japan-guide.com
Arashiyama has much to offer, including a glimpse into the very soul of Kyoto. Breath-taking nature in all seasons, many old temples and shrines, traditional restaurants and tea houses, famous Ryokan(Japanese inn) and Onsen (hot spring). You can take a Rikshaw ride or have your photo taken as a Maiko (apprentice geisha) in one of the photo studios in the area. You can even rent a bicycle to escape the crowds and explore the area. A nostalgic train ride or an adventurous boat tour through winding gorges are great ways to spend the day.
To enjoy your time at the fullest I can suggest you the following one day trip:
From Arashiyama Torokko station we go on the 25-min. scenic ride on the romantic open-air train to Kameoka following the Hozugawa river with excellent views over the river and the surrounding mountains. (¥600/person).
For more information about the Torokko train ride go to the homepage of JNTO
From Kameoka we join the exciting 90 minutes boat trip back to Arashiyama on the Hozugawa River through a truly magnificent scenery.
Each boat can contain 30 people and is equipped with a roof in case of rain.(¥3900/person)
For more info about the boat trip go to the homepage of Kameoka city
We can have a light traditional lunch at on one of the more laid back riverside-terraces of Arashiyama or enjoy traditional vegetarian Zen-dishes (shojin ryori) at the Shigetsu restaurant within the Tenryu-ji temple compound. min. 3500 Yen /person (includes admission fee for the temple garden).
Free time to explore the area.
- Visit the famous Zen temple Tenryu-ji (¥600 with garden/person) and the adjacent Bamboo forest
- Have a stroll in the rural area of Sagano with many temples scattered around
- Climb up to the Iwatayama Monkey Park (¥500/person)
- Relax in the quiet Kameyama park with wonderful views over the river valley
- Go souvenir and sweets-shopping
- Take a Rickshaw ride (from ¥3000/2person)
- Have your photo taken as a Maiko/apprentice geisha(about ¥10,000)
- Rent a bicycle for a leisurely ride (¥1000/day, ¥500/2 hours)
After dark we go on watching Cormorant fishing (U-kai)from the river bank near the Togetsu bridge or we take one of the boats to experience this old tradition from within (¥1,700/person).
Cormorant fishing (only from Jul.1-Sept.15) is an ancient method of catching fish with Cormorants which still takes place at Arashiyama in summer.
The experience will let you absorb the unique atmosphere, leaving a lasting impression of the deep black mountains, the romantic lights and fire torches on the river and the mysterious silence all around.
Keifuku Omiya Station opposite of the Hankyu Omiya Station on the Hankyu line from Kyoto to Osaka.
I can pick you up at you hotel and bring you back to your hotel in the evening.
To reduce costs, I can bring you to the boat pier at Kameoka and pick you up again at the end of the boat ride in Arashiyama.
Costs for the guide are mainly for transport, admission fee and some light meal(s).
Half-day trips can also be arranged. Just choose what you would like to do most.
For more info please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org