In the event that you are coming to Kyoto, you may want to check a pleasant and touristy district of Arashimaya. It is located on the western side of Kyoto and it is most popular with the Bamboo Forest. The place, however, is also popular for other interesting activities, especially during fall colour and cherry blossom seasons.
One of the central and well-known landmarks is the Togetsukyo Bridge. You can find many restaurants and small shops nearby. You can also find the pleasure boats and bamboo groves– you can rent the previous one for a cruise down the river. If you want to explore a quieter area, you should go to the northern side of central Arashimaya. There are some small temples that are located on the wooded mountain base.
Want to explore the area? Why don’t you rent the bike? The one to rent it is close to the train stations, and you need to spend around ¥1,000 for it. This mean of transportation is very convenient and fun. You can explore the fields and rural residential areas easily.
The best time to visit Arashimaya is between April and November. During these months, there are two main important events happening: the fall colour and cherry blossom season. In summers, the tradition of cormorant fishing is generally done so tourists can watch. The fishing happens at Hozu River. In December, expect Hanatoro Illumination. During this time, you will see lanterns lining the bamboo groves and streets.
The Main Attractions
As it was mentioned before, Bamboo Forest is one of the major appeals in Arashimaya. It is basically a windy small path with tall bamboos on both sides. The effect is stunning – it seems like the peaceful otherworldly spot that feels peaceful and calm. You don’t need to spend a dime to enter the forest.
Several temples and shrines can be found close to the vicinity. Nonomiya Shrine, a place to worship Nonomiya-Daikokuten, can also found there. Nonomiya-Daikokuten is a matchmaking god who is believed to help people with their love life. Want to make a wish? Just drop by and do it. It is free to enter the shrine, anyway.
Activities and Places
Besides the temples and also shrines, you can also go to Monkey Park Iwatayama that is located on the southern side of Togetsukyo Bridge. You will see hundreds of free monkeys in this area. Admission fee is around ¥550 per person. You can also go to Saga-Toriimoto preserved street to see houses that were constructed as a traditional house from the Meiji Period. A lot of these houses have been changed to restaurants and shops without changing the original form or construction.
How to Get to Arashimaya
There are some ways to reach Arashimaya. The fastest way is by using the JR (Japan Railways). From Kyoto Station, take JR Sagano Line or Sanin Line heading to Arashimaya. It costs ¥240 and it takes 15 minutes to get to the destination. From Arashimaya Station, you can walk to the central Arashimaya. It takes 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
You can also use the bus to connect Arashimiaya with some areas in Kyoto. However, using the train is more convenient and faster because there is always a risk of traffic jams. Travelling by car isn’t recommended because of parking difficulty and busy traffic. But if you are thinking about to Takao mountainous region too, you can take the toll road connecting Takao and Arashimaya. For one way, it is going to cost you ¥1,180.
If you decide to go to Japan, especially to Kyoto, make sure to plan now. Make the necessary reservations. For the flight service, you can go to Airpaz and choose the available services like Japan Airlines.