Hidden charms of Arashiyama

Up to 5 Guests 7 - 8 Hours Private Guide Flexible Itinerary

Unique full day guided tour of Arashiyama

* Stroll through the Sagano bamboo forest and marvel at the beauty of the area * Cross Togetsukyo bridge, where locals have been watching the moon for a thousand years * Discover a remote hilltop Zen Buddhist temple deep in nature with magnificent views back to Kyoto * Explore a beautiful moss temple, a famous haiku poet's forest retreat and a silent movie star's retirement villa * Walk along one of Japan's best preserved streets and learn about its fascinating history * Sample the area's unique local seasonal cuisine and meet its skilled artisans * Get lost in the quieter areas of Arashiyama well away from the tourist crowds

Arashiyama has held a special place in the hearts of Kyotoites for centuries, lured by its incredible natural scenery, amazing variety of temples and laid-back ambience. This is where Kyoto’s wealthy citizens built their villas, the city’s monks came to meditate for hours on end and where Japan’s most famous poets would lose themselves amongst the bamboo forests for inspiration.
After taking the train from Kyoto, we start by exploring Togetsukyo bridge,  Kyoto’s most famous moon viewing spot, before making our way along the beautiful Oi river to a hill top Buddhist temple nestled deep in the forest with incredible views back to the city. Here we have the chance to talk with the resident monks and learn about zazen seated meditation, a form of spiritual chanting unique to Japan, while soaking up the serene atmosphere.
Walking back towards Arashiyama, we allow ample time to discover the area’s amazing food options and local craft shops. For vegetarian and vegan clients, there are a number of excellent choices including the chance to try Shojin Ryori (Japan’s sophisticated Buddhist cuisine) within the World Heritage listed Tenryuji temple grounds.
In the afternoon, we stroll through the stunning bamboo grove before taking some of the smaller backstreets to discover the area’s hidden charms. Options include Okochi Sanso, a spectacular villa and garden built by one of Japan’s silent movie stars, Rakushisha, the thatched roof retreat of a famous 17th century haiku poet, Giou-ji with it’s picturesque moss garden and the weird and wonderful carved stone faces which make up Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple.
We finish by exploring one of Japan’s best-preserved streets to learn about the area’s unique heritage and meet the resident artisans before heading back to the station via a local ashiyu (hot spring foot bath) – a great way to rest tired feet after a day of walking!


1 - 5 GUESTS
  • Accommodation meet and greet
  • Expert bilingual private guide
  • UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Local spots and hidden gems
  • Option to customise

  • The price does not include transportation or temple / garden entrance fees for each guest and the guide 

  • We will provide an accurate estimate of these fees and any customised options at the time of confirmation

  • Lunch is additional but we will recommend some great options to suit tastes and dietary requirements

  • As this is a private walking tour, we can adjust the pace and length to suit but please let us know of any mobility issues

  • Please note our cancellation policy under ‘FAQs’ and we ask all clients to have comprehensive travel insurance


"Our family of four (two adults, two teens) had a fabulous day with Chris of Kyoto Guided Walks! We visited out of the way places in Arashiyama where we could enjoy nature away from the crowds - our son even climbed a tree during our tour! Chris arranged a delicious lunch which was great for both vegetarians and omnivores. We ended our day with a nearly hidden foot bath which left us all relaxed and content. We learned, laughed and saw places that we would never have found on our own. Our experience in Kyoto was so much more in depth because of our tour! I would book Chris again in a heartbeat!"
Heather H
Seattle, USA

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