A sprawling area in western Kyoto centered around the Katsura River (Oi river) and surrounding mountains, Arashiyama is an extremely popular tourist spot visitors to Kyoto won’t want to miss. Any given day you’re likely to see people in kimono or yukata enjoying local food, shopping, and pilgrimages to the local temples. Rickshaw drivers wait to carry you to your destination, whether it be the natural beauty of the bamboo forest or the man-made temples that have stood in Arashiyama for hundreds of years.
Arashiyama is the second-most important sightseeing district in Kyoto. It’s filled with temples and shrines, but the star attraction is the famed Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.
Arashiyama is in the far west of Kyoto, tucked along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains (meaning “Storm Mountains”). It’s a fair distance from the center of Kyoto: whether you go by train, bus, bicycle or taxi, you’re generally looking at about a 30-minute trip. Still, it’s worth it for the number of great sights here.