Arashiyama was the last area I visited in Kyoto and it was a glorious beautiful day, filled with gorgeous scenic views, mountain wild monkeys, enchanting bamboo forests and magical hidden temples. You can probably spend a whole day there slowly soaking in the atmosphere, sipping tea in the mountains or just enjoying the local markets and street food.
The most famous of this area is probably the bamboo forest/groves, not only for its tall bamboo trees along the narrow paths, but also for the locals walking around wearing their traditional Kimonos and Japanese girls dressed up in traditional Geisha style makeup. But also, you have the famous Togetsukyo Bridge.
The Japan Guide probably has the most comperehnsive list of things to do in the area. Here’s a bit of the background:
Arashiyama (嵐山) is a pleasant, touristy district in the western outskirts of Kyoto. The area has been a popular destination since the Heian Period (794-1185), when nobles would enjoy its natural setting. Arashiyama is particularly popular during the cherry blossom and fall color seasons.
The Togetsukyo Bridge is Arashiyama’s well known, central landmark. Many small shops, restaurants and other attractions are found nearby, including Tenryuji Temple, Arashiyama’s famous bamboo groves and pleasure boats that are available for rent on the river.
North of central Arashiyama the atmosphere becomes less touristy and more rural, with several small temples scattered along the base of the wooded mountains. The area north of the Togetsukyo Bridge is also known as Sagano, while the name "Arashiyama" technically just refers to the mountains on the southern bank of the river but is commonly used to name the entire district.
Lots of temples and Japanese gardens to visit in the area, but they all charge entrance so if you’re not looking to spend too much I would concentrate on one or two of those.
This is one of the many estates in the area where you can go and sip some Japanese tea overlooking the mountains and forests…
And then there’s the lovely area, with rivers and the famous bridge…
Suggested path (by Pantip):
This sums up my visit to Kyoto. A summary post to follow soon. Perhaps one of my favorite cities in Asia, an absolute treat.