Arashiyama is a beautiful district located in west Kyoto, tucked along the base of the Arashiyama Mountains (meaning “Storm Mountains”). Arashiyama is a must for anyone visiting Kyoto, and although it takes a bit of time coming from central Kyoto, you can easily fill your day with all of the sites.
We began our day crossing the famous Togetsukyo Bridge (“Moon Crossing Bridge”) to get to the Monkey Park Iwatayama. I am so happy I was wearing sneakers, because to get to the monkeys, you first need to hike uphill 20 minutes! It’s well worth it – not only do you get too see hundreds of monkeys roaming freely, but you have a breathtaking view of Kyoto from the top of the mountain.
After the Monkey Park Iwatayama, we visited the impressive Tenryuji Temple built in 1339. We walked along the grounds and saw the beautiful temple garden which survived the centuries in its original form (unlike many of the buildings that were rebuilt over the years due to fires and wars).
Following the Tenryuji Temple, we walked through the iconic Bamboo Grove.
All of the walking made us hungry, so we stopped for treats on our way back to the station on the main street, sampling fresh pickles and fried tofu!