Arashiyama is a pleasant tourist destination on Kyoto City’s western side, popular for its beauty, attractions, and landmarks. It is often visited while traveling to Kyoto, but it’s also a great place to stay. Here we’ll share some of the best ryokan inns and hotels in Arashiyama.
Main image: PIXTA

1. Getting to and around Arashiyama

The Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street, around a 20-minute walk north of the Bamboo Forest, is a quiet area with 19th century wooden homes and shops. Photo: PIXTA

Arashiyama is easy to get to from Kyoto Station. Taking the JR San-in Line, the ride takes 15 minutes and costs 240 yen (covered under the Japan Rail Pass).
Alternatively, if coming from downtown Kyoto, from Kyoto-Kawaramachi or Karasuma Station, take the Hankyu Line to Katsura Station, then transfer to the Hankyu Arashiyama Line for Arashiyama. The trip will take roughly 20 minutes and cost 230 yen.
Arashiyama can also be accessed by bus or car, but in the interest of being time and cost-efficient, it is easier to get there via rail.
Note that four stations service the Arashiyama area, each on a different rail line. In rough order of convenience to sightseeing places, they are:
・JR Saga-Arashiyama Station (JR San-In Line)
・Arashiyama Station (Randen)
・Arashiyama Station (Hankyu-Arashiyama Line), and
・Torokko Arashiyama (Sagano Sightseeing Tram).
Getting around Arashiyama
As Arashiyama is a relatively compact area, walking is a convenient way of getting around. To conserve time, renting a bicycle is also recommended. Bicycle rental shops can be found in front of JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, Randen Arashiyama Station, and Hankyu Arashiyama Station.

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Self-Guided Kyoto Bike Tour: Must-See Places in Arashiyama

2. What is Arashiyama like?

Togetsukyo Bridge. Photo: PIXTA

Arashiyama is a fable-like location just outside of central Kyoto. Even compared to the quiet old capital of Japan, Arashiyama has a relaxing and peaceful feel.
During the Heian period (8th to 12th centuries), it was a resort area used by noble families. The area is surrounded by lush mountains and vibrant seasonal colors. Arashiyama is especially beautiful in autumn when the fall colors shine.
The area features many famous sightseeing locations including the Togetsu-kyo Bridge crossing the Oi-gawa River (Katsura-gawa River), as well as Tenryu-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Daikaku-ji Temple.
Most visitors will stay in Kyoto and head to Arashiyama for a visit during the day since it’s very easy to get to. However, the Arashiyama area is a great place to stay for those who want to experience a more peaceful vacation while still being able to visit all the best attractions in Kyoto.

Guide to Tenryuji: Most Popular Attraction in the Arashiyama Area

3. What to see and what to do in Arashiyama

Arashiyama in spring. Photo: PIXTA

Bamboo Forest: A mesmerizing walk on beaten paths leading through a thick bamboo forest. Especial…

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