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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
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 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
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
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 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

History

Arashiyama 嵐山

Renowned for its bamboo grove, beautiful location and famous heritage

Located in the northwestern area of Kyoto, Arashiyama draws many visitors for its world-renowned bamboo grove and beautiful scenery that changes with each season. The area is dotted with temples, old imperial villas, and famous historical sites, many of which are National Treasures, or have been recognized as World 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 is easily accessible from Kyoto Station and many other places around Kyoto by rail.

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 over the top of the Arashiyama 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 as it provides a panoramic view of the mountain of Arashiyama itself. Originally called “Horinji Bridge” because 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 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 Arashiyama's natural landscape, celebrated by poets since ancient times.

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

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