Sagano Scenic Railway 嵯峨野観光鉄道
Ride a retro locomotive through some of Kyoto's most striking countryside
The Sagano Scenic Railway, also known as the Sagano Romantic Train, runs from Saga Torokko Station on Kyoto's western edge to the rural town of Kameoka. This 25-minute journey takes you through some of Kyoto's most picturesque scenery.
- Photographing the scene through the train's open windows
- Seeing old locomotives on display at the Saga Torokko Station museum
- Returning to Sagano by boat through Hozukyo Gorge
How to Get There
Begin your journey by train. Saga-Arashiyama Station is located within walking distance of Randen Arashiyama Station, just a 15-minute train ride from Kyoto Station .
Train line origins
The line opened in 1899 as part of the main line of the Kyoto Railway, which connected Kyoto to Sonobe. The old-fashioned locomotive is fitted with wooden benches and has a single open car and four enclosed cars. The windows can be opened for photographs during the occasional short stops.
The Sagano Scenic Railway operates from March 1 to December 29, except on Wednesdays.
Delightful in all seasons
The diesel locomotive winds its way through the mountains at a leisurely pace, taking about 25 minutes to make the 7.3-kilometer run along Hozukyo Gorge. Time your visit accordingly to enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, verdant green landscapes in summer or the fire and rust-filled colors of autumn. During its limited winter season, the train rolls through a landscape lightly dusted in snow.
Saga Torokko Station has a museum with historical locomotives on display, including an old steam engine. The large-scale railway diorama, including the famous sites of Kyoto, is worth seeking out. Drinks, snacks and souvenirs can be purchased in the rest area or at the cafe in the museum.
A gorgeous trip home
While the mountain scenery is breathtaking in all directions, break up your return trip to Kyoto by taking a boat back down the Hozu River. Shuttle buses depart from Kameoka Torokko to the boat's departure point.