Out of all the beautiful spots in Kyoto, Arashiyama is at the top of the list for centuries. Only 15 minutes by train from Kyoto Station, Arashiyama's location on the edge of the city gives it a small town feel. The thickly forested mountains and traditional houses lining winding roads will bring on the feeling of stepping into a small countryside village - all without leaving the Kyoto city limits. Arashiyama means "Mountain of Storms," but you'll find it to be the most peaceful spot in the whole city, giving you a chance to relax and experience a slower, more traditional side of Kyoto.

Tourists flock to Arashiyama by the hordes, especially during the seasons for cherry blossoms and fall leaves. However, our Arashiyama Backroads Tour is specifically tailored to show you a side of the area that most other visitors rarely experience. Avoiding the main streets and busy sites in favor of lesser-traveled paths and hidden gem temples nestled in the mountains is key to making the most of your time in Arashiyama. This is in line with our in depth cultural approach to touring. Of course, we'll stop at a few popular must-see locations as well to round out the experience. Additionally, this walk offers some great chances to do some shopping for local crafts and unique gifts.

The following is a sample itinerary for the Arashiyama Walking Tour:

  • Travel out to Arashiyama on the western edge of the city and begin the tour at the base of Mt. Atago, Kyoto's tallest mountain.
  • Explore Kyoto's best secret temple, and meet the 1200 stone followers of Buddha covering the hillside. A true hidden gem.
  • Enter a quiet Buddhist graveyard with over 8000 carefully arranged mini gravestones, rarely visited by tourists.
  • Visit a hidden moss garden, lovingly cared for at the former retreat of a scorned lover who rejected city comfort for rural seclusion.
  • See the inside of a famous poet's thatched hut and marvel at the simplicity of the traditional life he chose to live.
  • Browse through handicraft shops offering items unique to the Arashiyama area made from local materials. (optional)
  • Wander through the maze-like garden paths of a vast private villa built by a star of silent samurai films in the 1920s.
  • Enjoy a cup of matcha green tea and unique sweets at the tea pavilion in the garden at the above-mentioned estate.
  • Walk through the world famous Arashiyama bamboo forest, Kyoto's ultimate photography spot.
  • Enjoy the company of a fellow foreigner as your guide. We'll give you the real scoop about what it's like to live here, and all the local tips and info!
  • Finish with your choice of Tenryuji Zen Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, OR continue walking through more of the bamboo forest.
  • Stick around Arashiyama after the tour to grab lunch and continue sightseeing on your own. Don't forget to visit the monkey park!
  • Your guide will show you how to return into the city easily by train or taxi.

(the above itinerary may change slightly due to closures, seasonal crowds, and weather)

Arashiyama Backroads Walking Tour

Duration: approx. 4.5 to 5 hours

Price: 24,500 yen for one guest

(4,500 yen for each additional guest, child discounts available)

A taxi option is not available for this walking tour.

For groups of more than 3 guests, a transportation surcharge of 1000 yen will be added.

We had a day of sightseeing [in Arashiyama] and walking in the little neighborhoods, combining some of the most well known sights with some really cool places that had no other foreign tourists. Each was amazing! Our guide Terin was a wealth of knowledge and had stories and information about it all. My kids came back to the hotel still excited about what they had seen and reciting many of the facts they learned! Having a “real” English speaking guide (who speaks Japanese) was extra nice especially when discussing some of the differences between the cultures.
— FLtravels, from Florida via Trip Advisor

                  Arashiyama is featured in this aerial video produced by our friends at Awadrone


Additional information

  • This is a walking tour, so comfortable clothing and shoes are recommended. Most of the route is a long down hill walk, but there are a few slopes.
  • Tour price includes transportation fees (train, bus), temple admission fees, and tea pavilion bill.
  • Guests are responsible for any additional food or drink purchased while on the tour.
  • Additional activities chosen by the guests during an all day tour must be paid for by guests.
  • Taxis are not available to all locations in Arashiyama.
  • Itinerary subject to change due to seasonal changes in temple hours, special events, transportation delays, weather, or other factors. Guests will be kept informed of any itinerary changes as they occur on the day of the tour.
  • Please read our terms and conditions for more information before booking.

To book this tour, inquire about scheduling, or request more info, please use the contact form below.

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