Beyond the city is the semirural hillside area of Arashiyama, which lies along and above the banks of the Oi-gawa (the local name for the Katsura-gawa as it courses through this area). The pleasure of Arashiyama, the westernmost part of Kyoto, is the same as it has been for centuries. The gentle foothills of the mountains, covered with cherry and maple trees, are splendid. The sights are spaced apart, connected by a pathway that meanders along the hillside, through fields and a peaceful bamboo grove, and past several craft shops and restaurants. It's no wonder that the aristocracy of feudal Japan came here to escape famine, riots, and political intrigue.
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