It is my second trip to Japan and my fist time in Kansai Region. On our first day, we woke up so early and head to Arashiyama, Kyoto.
Our first stop was Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, here you’ll be in awe of the towering bamboo trees, it’s such a fairy tale moment. You will see lots of crowds and tourists when you enter but once you walk deeper, the crowd will lessen and you can take photo with no photo bombers.
10-minute walk from JR Saga-arashiyama Station on the JR Sagano Line
1-minute walk from Kyoto Bus Stop Keifuku Arashiyama-eki-ma / City Bus Stop
3-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Randen Arashiyama Line
15-minute walk from Arashiyama Station on the Hankyu Railway
Once we were done exploring the bamboo forest, we visited the nearby Tenryu-ji Temple. This temple is so beautiful especially during spring season where you can see lots of sakura or cherry blossoms and during autumn season where you can enjoy the fall foliage. We went there March 26, 2019, but the cherry blossoms were only starting to bloom so we didn’t really see any.
This temple’s main attraction is the Zen garden which dates back to the 14th century. There, you’ll see a large pond, it is a great photo spot, especially during autumn season since the pond will catch the reflection of the maple leaves
After exploring the temple, we went to Orgel Music Box Shop since my mom really loves collecting music boxes. We also stopped by for some snacks along the way. Aside from street foods, there are also cute shops on our way to the music box shop but I personally feel that the merchandise they sell in Arashiyama is a bit overpriced. I recommend Kiyomizu-dera for souvenir shopping. You need to cross the Togetsukyo bridge to get to the music box shop. The music box shop is so cute and has lots of unique music boxes. My mom bought three!
- The Togetsukyo Bridge is another touristy spot in Arashiyama. After crossing the bridge and the shops, there will be a small hike to the monkey park. We did not visit the monkey park but if you are interested and have time to spare, it will be a great activity. Just don’t forget to be cautious since the monkeys are known to be a bit aggressive and would sometimes attack a tourist if you look at them in the eyes.
On our way back, we stopped by Kimono Forest before heading back to Kyoto Station. Tourists who go to Arashiyama mainly visit the Bamboo Forest since it is touristy but just a few blocks from it is Kimono Forest, an underated place and a hidden gem. Few tourists knows about it and it’s such a unique place, away from the crowds of the bamboo Forest.
Beside the Kimono Forest is a local train station where there are also lots of snack stands. I bought a strawberry daifuku but I forgot to take a photo. It’s a seasonal snack during spring season. Kimono Forest was our final stop in Arashiyama before heading to Kyoto station to eat lunch.
The best part about this is that all of these places are within walking distance so it is very easy to access.