Japanese snow monkey & park bench

Getty Images/Flickr Open

Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

Arashiyama & Sagano

Though it is common to spot wild monkeys in the nearby mountains, here you can encounter them at a close distance and enjoy watching the playful creatures frolic about. It makes for an excellent photo opportunity, not only of the monkeys but also of the panoramic view over Kyoto. Refreshingly, it is the animals who are free to roam while the humans who feed them are caged in a box!

You enter the park near the south side of Tōgetsu-kyō, through the orange torii of Ichitani-jinja. Buy your tickets from the machine to the left of the shrine at the top of the steps. Just be warned: it’s a steep climb up the hill to get to the monkeys. If it’s a hot day, you’re going to be drenched by the time you get to the spot where they gather.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arashiyama & Sagano attractions

1. Togetsu-kyō

0.31 MILES

The dominant landmark in Arashiyama, this bridge is just a few minutes on foot from either the Keifuku line or Hankyū line Arashiyama stations. The…

2. Kameyama-kōen

0.46 MILES

Just upstream from Tōgetsu-kyō and behind Tenryū-ji, this park is a nice place to escape the crowds of Arashiyama. It’s laced with trails, one of which…

3. Tenryū-ji


A major temple of the Rinzai school, Tenryū-ji has one of the most attractive gardens in all of Kyoto, particularly during the spring cherry-blossom and…

4. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

0.56 MILES

The thick green bamboo stalks seem to continue endlessly in every direction and there’s a strange quality to the light at this famous bamboo grove, which…

5. Tenryū-ji North Gate

0.58 MILES

By exiting Tenryū-ji via this gate and taking a quick left, you'll find yourself almost immediately in the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

6. Ōkōchi Sansō

0.59 MILES

This is the lavish estate of Ōkōchi Denjirō, an actor famous for his samurai films. The sprawling gardens may well be the most lovely in all of Kyoto,…

7. Nonomiya-jinja

0.61 MILES

This small shrine is where imperial princesses were sent for purification before serving at the Ise shrine. It features in the famous Japanese novel The…

8. Jōjakkō-ji

0.81 MILES

This temple is perched on top of a mossy knoll and is famed for its brilliant maple trees, which turn a lovely crimson red in November, and its thatched…