Top things to do

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Arashiyama & Sagano

Saihō-ji

Saihō-ji, one of Kyoto's best-known gardens, is famed for its superb moss garden, hence the temple's nickname: Koke-dera (Moss Temple). The heart-shaped garden, laid out in 1339 by Musō Kokushi, surrounds a tranquil…
Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Arashiyama & Sagano

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 autumn-foliage seasons. The main 14th-century Zen garden, with…
Top Choice Teahouse in Arashiyama & Sagano

Hiranoya

Located next to the Atago Torii (a large Shintō shrine gate), this thatched-roof restaurant is about as atmospheric as they get. It serves a simple cup of matcha for a relatively modest ¥840 (it comes with a traditi…
Top Choice Park in Arashiyama & Sagano

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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. It's most atmospheric on the approach to Ōkōchi Sansō villa and you…
Top Choice Historic Building in Arashiyama & Sagano

Ōkōchi Sansō

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, particularly when you consider the brilliant views eastwards acr…
Top Choice Kaiseki in Arashiyama & Sagano

Kitcho Arashiyama

Considered one of the best kaiseki (Japanese haute cuisine) restaurants in Kyoto (and Japan, for that matter), Kitcho Arashiyama is the place to sample the full kaiseki experience. Meals are served in private rooms …
Top Choice Vegetarian in Arashiyama & Sagano

Shigetsu

To sample shōjin-ryōri (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine), try Shigetsu in the precincts of Tenryū-ji. This healthy fare has been sustaining monks for more than a thousand years in Japan, so it will probably get you thro…
Coffee in Arashiyama & Sagano

% Arabica

Peer through the floor-to-ceiling windows that look across the Hozu-gawa and mountain backdrop as you order your coffee at this tiny cafe bringing excellent brew to Arashiyama. Grab a takeaway and stroll along the r…
Bridge in Arashiyama & Sagano

Togetsu-kyō

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…
Historic Building in Arashiyama & Sagano

Katsura Rikyū

Katsura Rikyū, one of Kyoto’s imperial properties, is widely considered to be the pinnacle of Japanese traditional architecture and garden design. Set amid an otherwise drab neighbourhood, it is (very literally) an …