Arashiyama For The First Timer: Things You Should Know

On our second visit to Kyoto, we finally managed visiting Arashiyama. This very touristy district is located on the western side of Kyoto and it took about 45 minutes by train (including the transfer and also the waiting time).

We took Hankyu Railway from Kawaramachi Station, which is located near our hostel, Centurion Hotel Cabin & Spa. But of course you can take other train to go from Kyoto to Arashiyama.

It was our first visit to Arashiyama, and we would like to share our experience to give you the ideas of what you should know and what to expect from your first visit to Arashiyama.

Arashiyama early in the morning (about 8 am)

1. Getting To Arashiyama From Kyoto By Train

Because I love train in Kyoto, the section of getting to Arashiyama from Kyoto will only be explaining about how to get there by the train, and not the bus. 

By Hankyu Railway 

As mentioned earlier we took Hankyu Railway from Gion, Kawaramachi Station. We didn't know anything about the location of this Hankyu Arashiyama Station. We choose this train based on what Google Map told us that morning.

It was a pleasant train journey from Kyoto to Arashiyama with Hankyu Railway. The steps we took were like this:
1. From Kawaramachi, we alight at Katsura Station. 
2. Then we took the underground pass to the track of Arashiyama Line. 
3. Hankyu Arashiyama Station is the last stop on Arashiyama Line.

Source: from Kyoto Station [dot] com

As morning person, we arrived very early, giving mr.husband the opportunity to capture the train and the station without anyone around.

Hello Mr.Sunshine!
A very clean train station indeed :)
Trains in Japan are fotogenic

But you should know that Hankyu Arashiyama Station is around 20 minutes walking distance to the center of Arashiyama (well, with so many picture stops in between, because the view is so gorgeous!).

So if you travel with kids, you may choose to take the Keifuku Railways (Randen), which will be explained in the next paragraph.

Hankyu Arashiyama Station

By Keifuku Railways

The positive point of this line is, it will take you to the very center of Arashiyama tourist area. About 10 minutes walking to the bamboo grove.

We found a station when we just finished our visit to Tenryuji Temple. The station is about 5 minutes walk from Tenryuji temple. 

As a purple lover, I was very interested with the purple train of Randen :)

A very cute train

If you wish to take Keifuku Railway, you can start your journey from Omiya Station in Kyoto. The route below may give you the idea. By the way, the fare is JPY210 for adult and half price for children. The next time I go to Arashiyama, I will ensure that I will be taking this purple train:D

Source: Randen Keifuku

By JR Train

If you have JR Pass, you may want to take JR train so that you don't have to pay any extra money. On the top of that, JR train is the fastest compared to Keifuku and Hankyu Railway. 

The JR Sagano Line is from Kyoto Station all the way to JR Saga Arashiyama Station. It is around 10 minutes walking to the famous bamboo forest.

2. Arrive As Early As Possible To Arashiyama

As a very touristy place, there are lots and lots people coming to Arashiyama. To get best pictures, arrive as early as possible for the better taking pictures opportunity.

You don't see the Togetsukyo bridge this empty very often

3. Take a Break And Drink Coffee

I have posted our coffee trip in Kyoto, Arashiyama and Osaka in this link. And I should mention here once again that after passing the Togetsukyo Bridge (if you are coming from Hankyu Arashiyama Station just like what we did), take a break and drink % Arabica coffee.

A very cute coffee shop which served one of the best coffee!

A must visit cafe!

4. Go All The Way To The Hills

After the coffee break, we headed to the Bamboo Grove with some hiking over the hill. I didn't know whether it was necessary, but I just follow mr.husband's step.

Before going to the hill, we walked just along the river, and it was so beautiful and serene.

Look at this beautiful tree :)
Breakfast by the river

And yes we did a bit of hiking, but ended up we enjoyed a very beautiful view from the hill. If you love hiking, I recommend taking the same route as we did.

Just remember, we were almost there:D
So lovely!
I wonder how to get to that colorful house on the opposite of the hill
The beautiful river

5. Visit The Bamboo Forest

Of course, this is one of the highlight of our visit to Arashiyama. We were coming from the hills area, while other tourists are mostly coming from the different way.

We were there about 9.30 am, and it was still not pack by tourists. Again, it is recommended to come as early as possible.

The sunshine we saw through the bamboo

6. Visit The Tenryuji Temple

One of the Zen temple in Kyoto is The Tenryuji. By visiting the place, you will know why this is a zen temple. The place is so quiet, the garden is so lovely, for sure, it's worth a visit.

We paid JPY500 to get into the temple complex, but we didn't pay additional ticket (JPY300) to get into the building. 

It is located at the end of the bamboo grove (if you are coming from the hills side like what we did).

Pay an additional ticket of JPY300, and you can go inside the zen temple

The zen temple, a world heritage
This is what you see if you are coming from the center of Arashiyama
Every corner of the temple is so beautiful

7. Snacking at The Center of Arashiyama

After a long walk from Hankyu Station Arashiyama to the bamboo grove all the way to Tenryuji temple, we stopped at the center of Arashiyama to grab some snacks.

As usual, you can find soft ice cream, restaurants, souvenir shops along the street.

Buying Japanese mochi
The colorful street

8. Explore Arashiyama on A Bike

If you wish to explore Arashiyama on a bike, take the Hankyu railway, as the bike rental is just opposite the train station. We wanted to rent a bike, but it was still closed when we arrived early in the morning (:

The sign we saw at the train station
Ok, the next time we go to Arashiyama, we should rent a bike!

9. Take The Sagano Romantic Train

Well we didn't try it, but my friend Meidiana did and she wrote on her blog Geret Koper. Take a look at this link. If it wasn't winter I thing we would have taken the Sagano Romantic Train.


Number 9 ends our post on Arashiyama. I hope by now you will be able to imagine what you will see and enjoy in Arashiyama. If it is your first visit to Kyoto, make sure that you will not miss this place in your itinerary.

written on March 12, 2017
Follow our IG account: @tesyasblog
Like our FB Fanpage: Tesyasblog
See our video on youtube: Tesya Sophianti

Next Post:

Pablo Cheese Tart, Shinsaibashi Store Osaka

Previous Post:
Mencari Salju di Kyoto Hingga ke Kibune


  1. Mbaa kamu ke jepang ini pas weekend aja yaa. Aku jg ada niat mw balik kesana cm weekend tok. Nih negara bener2 ngangenin yaa :D. Arashiyama aku blm prnh dtangin sih. Next kalo kesana lagi lah..

    1. Iya Fan, pas weekend aja kemarin, Jumat sampe Minggu.
      Arashiyama wajib Fan :)

  2. OMG that Keifuku's train is soo cute <3, aku ga ketemu si %arabica coffee :( mungkin karena naiknya JR train waktu ke sini, hikss :((
    yang di Kyoto juga ga sempet mampir *double hiks*
    dan akunya juga ga sempet susur sungai karena buru2 ngejar jam kereta sagano *triple hiks*
    berarti musti balik lagi ke sini hahahaha

    1. Mei, kalau ke Arashiyama enggak minum kopi itu ga sah Mei hahaha...