Itinerary Guide: This Walking Tour in Kyoto Takes You Through a Bamboo Forest

The experience is quite magical!

Sagano, Arashiyama is one of the most famous spots in Kyoto. It’s known for its rich, natural sceneries and beautiful temples surrounded by fresh, green leaves during the summer and red-colored leaves during autumn. Tourists and locals alike can enjoy a leisurely stroll around the area when it’s not the autumn season since the place is less likely to be crowded.

In this article, we introduce a walking course from Sagano to Arashiyama, which allows you to admire the bamboo trees of the surrounding area and feel a sense of peace.

11:45 a.m. Ayu no Yado Tsutaya

Ayu no Yado Tsutaya
stands on Atago Kodo Street, a road leading to the Atago Mountain. The 400-year-old restaurant lets customers enjoy a casual lunch while relishing the fresh greenery and quietness of Kyoto. Their famous ayu (sweetfish) dish is cooked for several weeks until the bones become soft.

You can enjoy lunch in the Japanese-style room with a refreshing view.

The Ayu Rice Bowl (¥1,620) consists of a whole ayu cooked with soy sauce, sweet sake, and sugar.

This restaurant started out as a tea house that offers ayu and tea to visitors of Atago Mountain during the Edo period (1603-1868).

Ayu no Yado Tsutaya is located at 17 Sagatoriimoto Senno-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 11:30 a.m to 6:30 p.m. Lunch hours are from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Schedules may vary). You may contact them at +81-75-871-3330.

The next spot is a 15-minute walk from this place.

1 p.m. Drop by the Giouji Temple.

Giouji Temple
has a beautiful moss garden and has made an appearance in one of Japan’s classic pieces of literature called Heike Monogatari. It is known as the temple where Giou ran into after experiencing heartbreak from Taira no Kiyomori, one of the strong warriors in Japanese history.

The colored leaves surrounding this temple is famous for offering comfort to its visitors. Even the view from the frames of the Yoshino window is also beautiful. This window is called “Rainbow Window” because its lattice colors the shadow of the leaves.

The moss garden in the middle of the temple is made up of over 20 kinds of moss.

Inside this hut are five wooden figures. One of them is Taira no Kiyomori.

Giouji Temple is located at 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozaka-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Entrance fee for the Giouji Temple is ¥300, while entrance to both Daikakuji Temple and Giouji Temple is ¥600. You may contact them at +81-75-861-3574.


The next spot is a 10-minute walk from this place.

1:40 p.m. Pay your respects at the Jojakkoji Temple.

Jojakkoji Temple
is a Nichiren temple in the middle of the Ogurayama Mountains. Its unique name comes from Buddhist culture. The temple halls with green leaves of maple trees as well as Kyoto City view from the temple’s precincts are both stunning.

The south gate of Honkokuji Temple, the main temple of Nichiren, was moved here as Niomon.

The 12-meter-high Tahoto pagoda is surrounded by maple trees.

Jojakkoji Temple is located at 3 Saga Ogurayama Ogura-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The entrance fee for the temple is ¥500. You may contact them at +81-75-861-0435.

The next spot is a five-minute walk from this place.

2:20 p.m. Take photos at the Okochi Sanso Garden.

This place used to be where Denjiro Okochi’s, a film actor at the beginning of the Showa period (around 1920s and 1930s), second house was located. Today, the Japanese garden is one of Japan’s designated cultural assets.

It took more than 30 years to complete the garden. From here, you can get breathtaking views of Ogurayama, Arashiyama, Hozugawa River, and the towns of Kyoto. Another noteworthy feature of the garden is its central pond.

Walk through the bamboo forest that leads to Okochi Sanso Garden.

There is also an Okochi Sanso Garden Museum within the garden which exhibits panel photographs of Denjiro Okochi.

The garden is on the southern side of Ogurayama Mountain, which was made famous by Ogura Hyakunin Isshu (a popular collection of 100 Japanese classic poems).

Gekkoutei is near the top of the mountain. You can see the town of Kyoto and Hieizan Mountain from this vantage point.

Okochi Sanso Garden is located at 8 Sagaogurayamada Tabuchiyama-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The entrance fee of the garden is ¥1,000, inclusive of matcha confectionery. You may contact them at +81-75-872-2233.

The next spot is a five-minute walk (to the North Gate) from this place.

3:20 p.m. Visit the Tenryuji Temple.

The Tenryuji Temple is the main temple of the Rinzaishu Tenryuji school. It was designated as one of the world’s cultural heritage sites. Sogenchi Garden, a garden inside the temple, was also designated as the first historical site of Japan. The Arashiyama view from this place is quite beautiful.


The “Unryuzu” artwork on the ceiling of the ceremony hall is equally amazing. This was painted by the Japanese artist Matazou Kayama.

Sogenchi Garden with the Arashiyama view

“Unryuzu” is a painting of a dragon, looking at eight directions, on 159 hinoki wooden pieces. It is usually open for public viewing on weekends and national holidays, and every day during special exhibitions which are held three times a year.

Tenryuji Temple is located at 68 Saga Tenryuji Susukino Baba-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The special exhibition of “Unryuzu” is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The fee for visiting the garden is ¥500. You’ll have to pay an additional ¥300 if you want to see the temple halls and ¥500 for visiting the ceremony hall. You may contact them at +81-75-881-1235.

The next spot is a five-minute walk from this place.

4 p.m. Hang out at Arashiyama OMOKAGE Terrace.

Arashiyama OMOKAGE Terrace
opened on the first floor of Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture. Inside this comfortable café are seats facing the glass window, where you can enjoy dishes by the Kyoto-style French restaurant Gion Okumura. There, you can get a taste of the famous restaurant’s cuisine while taking in the garden view.

Okumura Special Beef Stew Rice (¥1,296) consists of rice, meat, and sauce that burst with umami flavors.

From the restaurant, you can enjoy the view of the garden.

Arashiyama OMOKAGE Terrace is located at 11 Saga Tenryuji Susukino Baba-cho, Ukyo District, Kyoto City and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Tuesdays (if the holiday falls on Tuesday, the next day will be closed). 
You may contact them at +81-75-882-1111 Saga Arashiyama Museum of Arts & Culture 1/F.

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, and Kansai Walker™ (17 May 2019)

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