Kurama & Kibune SceneryNov. 01, 2016 UPDATE
Things to do
The Japanese healing art Reiki was born in Kurama on this mysterious mountain

Mt. Kurama

/ 鞍馬山
Mt. Kurama Main
Mount Kurama is a mountain in northern Kyoto where you can run into natural artworks. There are many primitive plants and the mountain looks almost like a jungle; a completely different sight from the hustle and bustle of the city. The roots of the trees are layered and entwined, there are fallen trees covered with moss, and it all looks like an artwork that will make you want to stop from time to time to take pictures of the scenery. Halfway up the mountain there is Kurama-dera Temple, the only...more temple in Japan to own its own railway. Kurama-dera Temple owns the cable railway that takes people up the mountain to the temple. The Mount Kuruma Cable Railway is the shortest railway line in Japan.

So, there are two ways to go up the mountain, either by the cable railway or by walking. Hiking up the steep mountain takes some stamina, but the beautiful nature of Mount Kurama will make the hike seem shorter than it really is. Mount Kurama is also the place where the Buddhist monk Mikao Usui created the healing art reiki, so some of you may be able to feel something mysterious at the mountain.
Our Comments
Popular in Kyoto
Must-visit shops and spots for all first time tourists to Kyoto.
Highly Recommended
Top shops and spots loved by our editors and highly recommended to be listed on your itinerary.
Well Worth a Visit
Less known but widely loved by both tourists and locals. Recommended if your schedule permits.
Good for Fans
Hideaway shops and spots of worthwhile destination. Recommended if you are keen on these genres.
For Enthusiasts
Very popular among enthusiasts on these genres. Not always suitable if you are not particularly interested.
The Kifune River runs close to the west entrance to the mountain, and is a nice quiet place where you can relax. There are also some restaurants around this area so you can have lunch while enjoying nature.
A Maze of Roots
Must See !
A Maze of Roots
The roots form geometric patterns on the ground. It is a natural phenomenon that is caused by the hard soil. This is actually one of the reasons why this mountain was a popular destination for Buddhist ascetic training; it is really hard to walk here!
Twisted Trees
Must See !
Twisted Trees
These trees are said to be tangled because of the magnetic fields of the mountain. I am surely entitled to say that these trees are artworks in themselves. There are hiking routes, but otherwise the forest is left in its natural state.
Gaze at the Mountain Range
Must Do !
Gaze at the Mountain Range
When you get up to Kurama-dera Temple, you get to see this beautiful view of the Hiei mountain range that is sure to wipe away your fatigue. A moment of silence follows every gust of wind here; this makes you ponder existential questions.
Go Up a Winding Slope
Must Do !
Go Up a Winding Slope
On the way from Niomon Gate to Kurama-dera Temple there is a steep slope with eight tight curves. Walking here you can almost feel like an F1 driver in Monaco. The light coming through the leaves makes this a great place for portraits. Climbing up this slope does take some stamina so some of our readers might prefer to take the cable railway.
Manner & Tips
- Manner & Tips -
It might be a good idea to take a jacket with you since it can get quite chilly up in the mountains. Also, don’t go into the restricted areas that are marked with by rope.
Mt. Kurama
Categories Scenery
Phone None
Address ・1047 Kurama-Honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto-fu 601-1111
Directions ・Nio-mon gate: 3-minute walk from Hiei Line Kurama Stn.
・Nishi-mon gate: 20 minute-walk from Hiei Line Kibuneguchi Stn.
Hours 9am-5pm (enter by 4:30pm)
Reservations Not accepted
Closed None
Fee ¥300
Credit cards Not accepted
Friendly for Overseas Visitors
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It is slippery, so a stick can be borrowed from entrance. English guide map is free.
Information Information board is available in Japanese and some English.
Languages spoken Japanese only
Mt. Kurama None ¥300 -1/3

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