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RedIcedTea Oct 9th, 2015 07:44 AM

Arashiyama Excursion
Planning on doing a day trip to Arashiyama from Kyoto in November with the following itinerary:

1. Arrive in Arashiyama by train (JR to Saga Arashiyama station)
2. Walk to the Bamboo forest/grove
3. Take Scenic Railway to Kameoka (from Torroko Arashiyama station)
4. Take the Hozugawa River Tour back to Arashiyama
5. Visit the Monkey Park
6. Back to Kyoto

This is really all for the scenery (fall colors). No temples or anything.

My questions are:

1. Is walking from JR Sagano to the Bamboo grove just a flat walk?
2. Same question for walking from Bamboo grove to Torroko Arashiyama station - flat walk?
3. Is it worth doing the Scenic Railway and/or Hozugawa River Tour?

Thank you.

Kathie Oct 9th, 2015 07:58 AM

You are sign to skip all of the temples at Arashimaya? The most stunning fall scenery is in the temple gardens, IMO. Take a look here:

Kavey Oct 9th, 2015 08:09 AM

The gardens at Tenryu-ji Temple were amongst my absolute favourite of two trips to Japan and the back entrance is right by the bamboo grove. Worth the tiny entrance fee to enjoy the gardens, and if you take some of the paths away from the central pond area, you can find a lot of tranquility even with all the other visitors.

Kathie Oct 9th, 2015 09:00 AM

That was our favorite as well. As you walk the path through the bamboo grove, go past the back entrance to Tenryu-ji Temple and keep going. You will come to a garden that was designed by a famous landscape architect. Sorry, I can't remember the name of the garden or of the landscape architect, but a visit to the garden is certainly worthwhile.

Smeagol Oct 9th, 2015 09:46 AM

Agree with the above, stunning villas and temples in this area, absolutely not to be missed.....I would say pre book the train ( we didn't and it was full) don't bother with the river cruise back down....

BigRuss Oct 9th, 2015 12:23 PM

<<I would say pre book the train ( we didn't and it was full) don't bother with the river cruise back down>>

You mean the scenic train, right? The JR train won't need prebooking (it's a local).

Smeagol Oct 9th, 2015 01:28 PM

Yep the scenic train

hawaiiantraveler Oct 9th, 2015 02:06 PM

Agree Tenryu-ji is a must see in Arashiyama and a UNESCO site. You can give the monkey park a pass. If you have extra time head towards the monkey park on the Arashiyama side of the river and instead of heading up the trail to the monkey park, continue down the road along the riverside until the end around the point....nice walk.

Muso Soseki is the famous Japanese architect Kathie was thinking of who also designed the exquisite moss gardens of Kokadera another UNESCO site. Answers to your questions:

1. No
2. yes
3. yes for me


hawaiiantraveler Oct 9th, 2015 02:08 PM


Kathie Oct 9th, 2015 03:16 PM

Thanks, HT, I was sure you would know what I was talking about!

kja Oct 9th, 2015 05:26 PM

The walk from JR Sagano to the Bamboo grove is uphill.

I thought the train ride was fun, but I think that whether it is worthwhile depends on the opportunity costs -- what are you giving up to make time for it?

Smeagol Oct 9th, 2015 09:55 PM

Oh I forgot about the Monkey park. It's a bit of a climb up but we liked it there too.

RedIcedTea Oct 11th, 2015 02:06 AM

Thanks all for the replies and tips.

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