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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

KYOTO Sagano & Arashiyama Bamboo and Zen beauty in the playground of old Kyoto aristocracy

Bamboo and Zen beauty in the playground of old Kyoto aristocracy

The Sagano and Arashiyama districts are located in the western part of Kyoto, and are the city's second most popular area for sightseeing. In the eighth century, aristocrats often came to this area of rice fields and bamboo woods to enjoy the colored leaves or to go boating.

The landscape today is still reminiscent of that period, and you can still visit a number of former villas connected with the nobility, which now serve as small temples.

Don't Miss

  • Tenryuji Temple, now a World Cultural Heritage site
  • Togetsukyo Bridge, which looks as it did in the 17th century
  • Bamboo grove leading into Sagano

How to Get There

Arashiyama is a distict on the western outskirts of Kyoto. It is easily accessible from both Kyoto and Osaka.

Arashiyama 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 Line, with its own Arashiyama Station.

Quick Facts

The area south of the Hozu River is known as Arashiyama; to the north is Sagano

Sagano extends to the picturesque hamlet of Kiyotaki at the base of sacred Mt. Atago

A number of shops in the area specialize in crafts made of bamboo grown in the famous bamboo grove

Arashiyama's great Zen heart

The largest, most renowned, and greatest temple in the Sagano and Arashiyama area is the Tenryuji Temple. It was erected in the 14th century by the then shogun, Ashikaga Takauji, in a gesture of mourning for the tragic Emperor Godaigo.

Now, Tenryuji is a World Cultural Heritage Site and it is one of the Kyoto-gozan (Five Major Temples of Kyoto). Even its garden is designated as a special national scenic spot.

The spirit of Zen permeates all of Tenryuji and serves as a perfect introduction to the whole of Arashiyama.

A harmonious blend of water and culture

Togetsukyo Bridge spans the Hozu River at the foot of Mt. Arashiyama. It is 250 meters long and still retains its 17th century appearance, despite more recent renovations made using steel.

On a summer evening in August, people write their wishes on 'toro' lanterns and let them float away on the Hozu River. This beautiful sight is called "Manto-Nagashi," or the floating of ten-thousand lanterns.

Shady bamboo grove

The bamboo grove leading into Sagano has long been the subject of travel posters, and for many people around the world it represents one of the many faces of Kyoto. A forest of nothing but towering bamboo of uniform height, it truly is a breathtaking sight.

A temple town full of treasures

The Sagano area proper has a large number of temples. They include Daikakuji Temple (a national treasure), Jojakkoji Temple with its Tahoto Tower, Nison-in Temple with a standing statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai and a statue of Buddha Amida-nyorai, Jikishi-an with a standing statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai (a national treasure), Seiryoji Temple with a statue of Buddha Shaka-nyorai (a national treasure), and the Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple, famous for the Sento-Kuyo, or the Thousand Lantern Memorial Service, held there every August.

Sake, crickets, and moss

The area of Rakusei, south of Togetsukyo Bridge is a good place to escape the crowds. A short walk from the bridge brings the visitor to Matsunoo Taisha, a shrine to the god of sake brewing which attracts many worshippers.

Not far along, Kegonji Temple is known for its suzumushi, or bell crickets, that chirp all year round. Saihoji Temple next door is famous for its moss garden, resplendent with 120 types of beautiful moss.

Japan's most precious imperial villa

Rakusei's main attraction is certainly Katsura-rikyu, a world-famous imperial villa featuring a simple but functional architectural style. Several tea houses dot the grounds, interconnected by a foot path that winds through what many consider to be Japan's most beautiful garden. You can take a guided tour around the grounds.

The Sagano and Arashiyama area is vast, but it can be navigated in a well organized walking tour. A comprehensive tour takes around four or five hours.

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