Japan,  Travel

Things to do in Arashiyama – Kyoto Travel

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Located on the western side of Kyoto, Arashiyama offers a lot of activities for tourists. You can find beautiful nature and scenery such as forests and mountains. You can also find historical and cultural sites such as shrines and temples. There are a lot of other things to do in Arashiyama aside from the famous bamboo forest. Here are my top 5 things to do in Arashiyama when visiting Kyoto.

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1. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

When I think of Arashiyama, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest would immediately come to my mind. It is one of the most popular things to do in Kyoto. It is also the most photographed place in Kyoto. If you only have time to visit one attraction, I recommend prioritizing Arashiyama Bamboo Forest over other attractions. The best part is that this attraction is free and anyone can visit this place without paying anything. Since this place is very popular to both tourists and locals, I highly recommend visiting early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowd.

Things to do in Arashiyama
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Read: Exploring Arashiyama in Kyoto

2. Tenryu-Ji Temple

One of the best temples in Arashiyama is the Tenryu-Ji Temple. It is also located beside the bamboo forest. You need to pay a 500 yen (5 USD) fee to enter. Tenryu-Ji Temple is a Zen temple with the most beautiful garden in Kyoto. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage.

Things to do in Arashiyama
Tenryu-Ji Temple

The garden is really beautiful especially during the spring and autumn season where you’ll see cherry blossoms and maple leaves. Unfortunately, the cherry blossoms have not bloomed yet when we visited but it is still beautiful.

Tenryu-Ji Temple
Zen Garden

The main attraction of the Zen garden is this small pond. It is a great photo spot, especially during the spring and autumn season. The pond will catch the reflection of the leaves which will make a great photo. This Zen garden is also really peaceful and perfect for anyone who wants to escape the crowds from the bamboo forest.

Tenryu-Ji Temple
Tenryu-Ji Temple Zen Garden

Try: Riding Rickshaw in Arashiyama

3. Kimono Forest

Most of the tourists only visit the bamboo forest when visiting Arashiyama before going to another attraction. But just a few blocks from the bamboo forest is an underrated and a hidden gem of Kyoto, the Kimono Forest. Only a few tourists know about this place. If you want to escape the crowd of the bamboo forest, I recommend visiting Kimono Forest. It is a unique place to visit and it is also really beautiful at night time when the kimono inside the pillars lights up.

Things to do in Arashiyama
Kimono Forest
Kimono Forest
Kimono Forest
4. Togetsukyo Bridge

The Togetsukyo Bridge is an iconic bridge in Arashiyama. Togetsukyo Bridge is also translated as the ‘Moon Crossing Bridge’. It is also best known for its magnificent and scenic view of the Katsura River. It is a 509 ft long bridge which has several shops and restaurants nearby.

Things to do in Arashiyama
View from the bridge
5. Orgel Music Box Shop in Arashiyama

No trip to Arashiyama is complete without buying souvenirs. There are several shops selling small touristy souvenirs but I prefer buying unique souvenirs. I recommend visiting the Orgel Music Box Shop located near the Togetsukyo Bridge.

Orgel Music Box Kyoto
Music Boxes
Orgel Musix Box
Orgel Music Box Shop
Orgel Music Box Shop

Check out what else we did in Kyoto :

Kyoto One Day Itinerary

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Ever since starting her travel blog on April 2019, Fae has loved taking photographs of new places and sharing them online. Now, in her 20s, take a peek in her life as she pulls you into a world of travel, food and lifestyle.

43 Comments

    • Shreya Saha

      Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is really interesting to visit as I have seen it so many times in many blogs and many instagram posts. However what I didn’t notice much of is the Kimono Forest. I am surely going to visit that forest when I visit Japan.

  • twinspirational

    Bamboo forest looks so fun..! The bamboo aligned that way while walking in that isle seems like a cool experience.

    • Kuntala

      I loved the photos. The bamboo forest is interesting. My husband visits Japan often and he talks about the uniqueness of the place. I need to visit and your article is inspiring me to do so.

    • Elizabeth O

      Kyoto is my favorite place to visit in Japan. There us something about the pace and spirituality that agrees with my spirit. I will add any I missed on my next visit.

  • Angela

    I spent a day in Kyoto and never saw the Bamboo forest. Now I need to go back! I think the Kimono forest looks really interesting too. I did love Kyoto though and Japan in general. I love reading your articles as they give me such good ideas for when I return.

  • Stephanie

    I can see why everyone visits the bamboo forest, it looks amazing! But the Kimono forest looks like a great place for something different. I’d love to see it at night.

  • Agnes Vazhure

    Aside from taking selfie, the second thing that I think I would do in that forest is to meditate and unwind. At first those are just the only things that came to my mind. And then I saw this list. Thanks then! Nice photographs!

  • Dalene Ekirapa

    Kyoto is absolutely beautiful! I would love to visit Zen Garden! Oh it looks so beautiful with all the green going on! Anyway, the bamboo forest provides such a beautiful trail for some walk. Love this!

  • nate

    My cousin wanted to have his 30th birthday in Arashiyama a few years ago. I didn’t go because I had other engagements at the time. Now that I look at your pictures, I should have gone!

  • Erik the Hungry Traveller

    Ooh the kimono forest looks intresting. Im all for less crowded and unbeaten paths on my travel thus i got stuck with your exploration in Kimono forest

  • Gervin Khan

    Japan is always have a big place in my heart, one of my dream place to visit not only to see how beautiful it is but also for my nephew for him to see his father,

  • Linda (LD Holland)

    We spent a few weeks in Japan. And am surprised we missed the Arashiyama area. The Bamboo Forest looks stunning. I can see why it is one of the most photographed places. But I would definitely want to visit the Kimono Forest at night when the kimonos light up. A spot to put on our travel list for a return visit to Japan.

  • Kavita Favelle

    We love Arashiyama, and have visited each time we’ve been to Kyoto but I would happily go again as there’s more we haven’t seen, including the Kimono forest you recommend, and the music box shop!

  • Dada

    Can you belive it, I have been to Kyoto twice but never ever to Arashiyama! I have so many beautiful photos of the bamboo forest but hardly any of Kimono forest or the temples which is ashame because they are equally beautiful.
    Your post just reminded me to return back to Kyoto!

  • Yukti Agrawal

    I never knew about Arashiyama but it really offers a lot of activities. I could really spot amazing nature and scenery and also historical and cultural sites such as shrines and temples. Arashiyama Bamboo forest is truly Instagrammable place here and I would end up taking thousands of photos here. Orgel Music Box Shop in Arashiyama really looks very cute and I would buy many souvenirs from here.

  • Clarice

    Wow! I did not realize there is so much to see and do in Kyoto. I would love to visit the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Totally agree with your that these spots are so instagrammable that it is a must to have our photos taken here.

    Thank you for sharing this. I am now thinking of booking another trip to Japan before the year ends as I have never been to this part of the country.

  • Parnashree Devi

    The bamboo forest of Arashiyama, Kyoto is the most iconic landmark of the place. I am happy that you have highlighted other attractions as well. I would definitely want to go to Kimono Forest as well. People mostly highlight the bamboo forest as it has become so popular on Instagram. Loved reading the post and thank you for telling about other attractions.

  • Archana Singh

    Japan is my favourite country in the world and I am aching to go back. Hopefully, in 2020 it will happen. Just like you, whenever I think of Arashiyama, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest comes top of my mind too. Can spend hours n hours there. Kimono Forest is a great place too.

  • Ann

    I feel like that amazing bamboo forest of in Kyoto is on everyone’s mind these days. If I could choose only ONE place to visit in Kyoto, this is exactly where I would go. Stunning photo!

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