Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
  • Hokkaido
Sub-zero temperatures and the greatest of outdoor environments, complemented by sizzling soul food and warm-hearted welcomes. Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Sleek apple-red and electric-green shinkansen whisk you up to a haven of fresh powder snow, fresh fruit and fearsome folk legends Fearsome festivals, fresh powder and vast fruit orchards—the rugged northern territory of Tohoku offers a fresh perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
Mountains and sea meet in one of Japan's wildest regions, and the result is sheer beauty. Once largely inaccessible, Hokuriku is now reachable by shinkansen from Tokyo in a matter of hours An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Characterized by the constant buzz of the world's most populous metropolitan area, the Kanto region is surprisingly green with an array of escapes that include mountainous getaways and subtropical islands Experience diversity at its fullest, from the neon of Tokyo to the ski slopes of Gunma, exotic wildlife of the Ogasawara Islands and cultural heritage of Kamakura
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Served by the shinkansen line that connects Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka, the Tokai region provides plenty of interesting diversions and easy excursions Tokai means "eastern sea," and this region stretches east from Tokyo to Kyoto and includes blockbuster attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
From raucous nights out to outdoor thrills to peaceful reverie, trying to categorize the Kansai region is a futile task The Kansai region is one of extreme contrasts—the neon lights of Osaka and glittering Kobe nightscape, the peaceful realms of Shiga, Wakayama and Nara, and the cultured refinement of Kyoto
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Less-traveled and delightfully inaccessible at times, the Chugoku region is a reminder that the journey is sometimes more important than the destination Welcome to Japan's warm and friendly western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Providing the stage for literary classics, fevered dancing and natural wonders Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
Easily reached by land, sea and air, the dynamic Kyushu prefectures are bubbling with energy, culture and activity The southern island of Kyushu is home to volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky, succulent seafood, steaming hot springs and the country's hottest entrepreneurial town
  • Okinawa
Ruins and recreated castles of the Ryukyu kings nestle amid magnificent beaches in Okinawa, a diver's paradise teeming with an amazing array of coral and undersea life Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings


Arashiyama 嵐山

Famous for its bamboo grove, beautiful location and famous heritage

Located in the northwestern area of Kyoto, Arashiyama draws many because of its beautiful scenery that changes with each of the seasons. The area is dotted with temples, old imperial villas, and famous historical sites, many of which are National Treasures, or have been recognized by UNESCO as World Cultural Heritage Sites. The entire region is designated by the Japanese government as a Place of Scenic Beauty.

Don't Miss

  • Togetsukyo Bridge—the great wooden landmark
  • Walking among the towering stalks of Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
  • Tenryu-ji—one of the greatest Zen temples of Kyoto

How to Get There

Arashiyama can be easily reached from JR Kyoto Station and many other places throughout Kyoto by railway.

It can be reached on one of three railway lines: the JR Sagano Line which serves Saga Arashiyama Station; the Hankyu Line to Arashiyama Station; or the Keifuku Randen Tram Line, with its own Arashiyama Station.

Quick Facts

In the 13th century, Emperor Go-Saga had Yoshino's famous cherry trees moved here, making the area popular for cherry blossom viewing

There are light ups through out the year, where colored beams are thrown upon the hillsides and the tops of the bamboo grove

The views from the top of the Iwatayama Monkey Park offer a unique perspective of the distant Higashiyama mountainscape

The poet's mount

Across from Arashiyama is Mt. Ogura, famed as the setting for the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu—a classical anthology of one hundred Japanese waka by one hundred poets who wrote one poem each. A card game adapted from the anthology is a popular and highly competitive pastime. Since ancient times, renowned poets such as Basho have come on pilgrimage to Arashiyama.

Expansion outward to the natural world

Wisdom of another sort was sought at Tenryu-ji, ranked one of the top of the hierarchy of Kyoto’s temples.

Its garden is one of Kyoto’s best, incorporating the surrounding mountains into its design, using the Japanese garden design concept of shakkei, or borrowed scenery. The exit at the back of the grounds leads directly to Arashiyama’s world famous bamboo grove.

The promenade of heavenly bodies

The Togetsukyo, or Moon Crossing Bridge, could perhaps be considered the area’s most recognizable feature, providing as it does a panoramic view of the mountain of Arashi-yama itself. Originally called “Horinji Bridge” as it leads directly to Horinji Temple, the name was changed to Togetsukyo Bridge because Heian Period (794-1185) Emperor Kameyama said during a moon viewing party that it looked as if the moon was crossing the bridge.

A journey up and down the Hozugawa river

The name of the river flowing beneath Togetsukyo Bridge changes depending on the location. It is called Oigawa River in the upper course, Hozugawa River in the middle course, and Katsuragawa River in the lower course.

The Heian aristocratic custom of elegant boating presented the nobility an occasion to be freed temporarily from their sheltered royal world. This custom has continued up to the present day, and you can enjoy a closer look at the beautiful Hozu River gorge on the Hozugawa Boat Ride.

A narrow-gauge train also runs along the river, and you should visit both to get a closer look at the ever changing face of Arashi-yama’s natural landscape, celebrated by poets since ancient times.

An enjoyable visit to Arashi-yama should be leisurely. Plan for a half or full day to take in the sights and not feel rushed through the idyllic setting.