Aug. 01, 2017 UPDATE
Ultimate Arashiyama guide for beginners
Part 2

First time in Arashiyama? Go here! (Second part)

In part two we take off from where part one left us! Time to go to some spots you just can’t leave out if you are going to Arashiyama!
bamboo grove
1:00 p.m. Go, Bamboo Grove, go!
Now that our bellies are full again it’s time to continue our journey into the depths of Arashiyama. Next, we are going to the sightseeing spot that is not only famous in Japan but all around the world, the Bamboo Grove! The tall bamboos surrounding you make the place feel mysterious, and almost like you were in another world. I’m completely sure you will not forget this sight!
nonomiya shrine
1:30 p.m. Shrine time at Nonomiya Shrine!
After you continue on the Bamboo Grove, you will find Nonomiya Shrine by it. This small shrine is actually really popular because it is so easily accessed by the Bamboo Grove!
This shrine is known to be a nice place to pray for a good marriage partner, which is why it is popular among women and why many of the things sold at the shrine are heart shaped. This shrine is a lot of fun, and there are many things you can do, like write your wishes on an ema wooden plaque shaped like a heart, or you can pet a stone that is said to make your wishes come true.
2:15 p.m. Arashiyama snack time!
After going to the shrine, let’s go back to the main street. Since we walked a lot, I guess you must be feeling hungry too, right? So here are some of the snack stalls I want to recommend:
Croquettes are an Arashiyama street food classic! These are great if you get a bit hungry, the combination of potato and minced meat is perfect. There are also some rather interesting croquette fillings like yudofu and yuba available too.
The tempura made from fish paste is also something I want to recommend! It has a really nice texture, and the fish-paste-and-cheese covered with yuba tempura is an especially popular choice. They taste best when eaten hot, but be careful when you bite into them, freshly made ones are really hot!
Then, for something sweet. The gelato sold close to the Tenryu-ji side of the Togetsu-kyo Bridge is a really authentic choice, it has even won a gelato competition in Italy! There are many different flavors like matcha, fruits flavors, and chocolate for you to choose from.
Of course, there are also many places selling soft serve, and this being Kyoto, many of the flavors are of course tea-based like matcha and hojicha.

It is a nice idea to enjoy your ice cream by the river, and relax for a bit. It is rather tiring to walk so much, right!
souvenior shops
3:00 Time for souvenirs!
It is time for the finale of our Arashiyama itinerary. Time to buy some souvenirs! There are many souvenir shops on the main street, so just go get some souvenirs from them! Many of them let you taste some of their wares so shopping is a lot of fun.
souvenir mall
One great place is the “souvenir mall” Shoryuen which is located across Randen Arashiyama Station. Here you can get snacks, food souvenirs, sake, and traditional crafts, and many of the shops here are old Kyoto establishments, so be sure to check this place out.
The building has two floors, and on the first floor, they sell classic souvenirs like yatsuhashi and tsukemono pickles.
On the second floor, you can find crafts made by artisans like pottery and Kyoto-like purses, chopsticks, damascening labor, and many other things. This place is also great for those who don’t have so much time!
After buying some souvenirs, it is time to end our day in Arashiyama!
Arashiyama is not a place you go to at night, since most of the sights here close pretty early, though there some illumination events during the year, mainly in autumn and winter. So I would like to recommend you follow this itinerary and go to Arashiyama early in the morning.
Arashiyama is, of course, beautiful all around the year, but the best season to go to Arashiyama is from October to November. During this time Arashiyama is really crowded, but Arashiyama is one of the best places to see autumn leaves in Kyoto, so Arashiyama is a must even during the autumn leaves season.
But in summer and winter, there are not as many people in Arashiyama, and you can take in the beautiful scenery at your own pace. In summer Arashiyama is really hot, but if you go to the Bamboo Grove it will be cooler as the bamboos block most of the sunlight. Don’t forget about the rickshaw rides either! And because the nature of Arashiyama is famed for its beauty the area is, of course, nice for hikes too.
If you follow this itinerary, you will get to go to most of the major sightseeing spots in Arashiyama! So have fun!

But if you still want to get to know Arashiyama even more, I have so very nice places in store for you in parts three and four…

Page Top