Arashiyama & Sagano

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 original crossing, constructed in 1606, was about 100m upriver from the present bridge. From July to mid-September, Togetsu-kyō is a good spot from which to watch ukai (fishing using trained cormorants) in the evening. To get close to the action you can join a passenger boat, the Kyoto Tourist Information Center can provide more details.

On 13 April jūsan-mairi, an important rite of passage for local children aged 13, takes place here. Boys and girls (many in kimono), after paying respects at Hōrin-ji (a nearby temple) and receiving a blessing for wisdom, cross the bridge under strict parental order not to look back towards the temple until they’ve reached the northern side of the bridge. Not heeding this instruction is believed to bring bad luck for life!

You can rent boats from the boat-rental stall just upstream from the bridge. It’s a nice way to spend some time in Arashiyama and kids love it.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Arashiyama & Sagano attractions

1. Arashiyama Monkey Park Iwatayama

0.31 MILES

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…

2. Tenryū-ji

0.33 MILES

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…

3. Kameyama-kōen

0.39 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…

4. Tenryū-ji North Gate

0.41 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.

5. Nonomiya-jinja

0.41 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…

6. Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

0.46 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…

7. Ōkōchi Sansō

0.53 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,…

8. Rakushisha

0.67 MILES

Formerly the building here was the hut of Mukai Kyorai, the best-known disciple of the illustrious haiku poet Bashō. You can wander the small garden where…