Let’s take some fresh air
The town of Kyoto is surrounded by mountains, hidden rivers, valleys, temples, shrines and an abundance of greenery in summer and …colors in autumn.
During this trip we will discover the two adjacent valleys of Kurama and Kibune in the northern mountains of Kyoto.
This tour is particularly apt to escape the summer heat and get some fresh air in lush surroundings.
From Kyoto/Demachiyanagi we take the Eizan dentestsu train on a 30 min ride towards Kurama. At Kurama we heat for Kurama-dera, a famous mountain temple originally belonging to the Tendai sect (esoterical Buddhism). You can walk up the mountain (about 30 min.) or take a tramway (100 Yen). At the top we will visit the mysterious main building of Kurama-dera and enjoy the great view around.
After taking a rest we will continue to Kibune down the trail on a pleasant 30 min. hike passing two little mountain shrines.
Kibune is a hidden mountain village with some romantic old ryokans (Japanese inns) and an old shrine of the 8th century.
The main attractions however are the picturesque restaurants with their dining platforms suspended over the river (Kibune-gawa). The meals, known as kawadoko-ryori are served on the platforms with the mountain river water just flowing beneath.
Prices for full lunch courses start at 3000 Yen.
A good alternative is the much cheaper nagashi-somen, a cold noodle delicacy, served at Hirobun: in little bamboo gutters flowing down the river just ready to be picked up!
The place can be very crowded in summer, so reservations for lunch are to be made in advance.
A last 30 min hike will bring you back to the train station. If you don’t feel like walking more, you can take one of the shuttle busses running between the village and the train station.
From Kibune station head back towards Kyoto.
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