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Arashiyama is a district in western Kyoto, below the Arashiyama Mountains (English: storm mountains). Here you will find numerous temples and shrines as well as the famous Sagano bamboo forest, which is definitely worth a visit despite the crowds. The described day tour starts at Saga Arashiyama Station. From Kyoto center it can be reached in about 30 minutes by Sagano JR line, bus or cab. From there just follow the signs or the other visitors to the “Bamboo Grove”. Once you are standing in the middle of the many meters high bamboo stalks, you feel like you are in another world.

The colorful autumn leaves of the trees between the green bamboo, the rustling of the leaves in the wind and the special light conditions in this forest are incomparable. When you reach the end of the grove, you turn right at a crossroads and cross the tracks of the Sagano Line. Very soon you reach Ogura Pond, along which you walk and then come across the entrance to Jojakko-ji Temple. This Buddhist temple is beautifully nestled in the forest on the slopes of Mount Ogura. The highest point of the temple complex, where there is also a two-story pagoda, offers a great view down to Kyoto.

The quasi-neighboring Nison-in temple is also perfectly integrated into the surroundings and nature. The long avenue of old Japanese maple trees leading to the main hall is particularly impressive. Both temples are absolutely worth a visit. I do not want to reveal too much at this point, rather go there yourself, be surprised and discover on your own 🙂 After an eventful day, we head back through a residential area and a small part of the bamboo forest to Saga Arashiyama Station.

Start/End: Saga Arashiyama Station, Kyoto

Duration: 4-5 h

Saga Arashiyama Station – Sagano Bamboo Grove – Ogura Pond (Ogura-ike) – Jojakko-ji Temple – Nison-in Temple – Sagano Bamboo Grove – Saga Arashiyama Station

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