So getting to Arashiyama from Kyoto station can be pretty easy.
One option is to go by bus, as there’s a bus that goes to Arashiyama.
And there are a few different rail lines that also go to Arashiyama, and you could take any of them.
That said, I think taking the JR train is a convenient way to get there with or without a JR pass.
There’s a JR train station in a convenient part of Arashiyama and it’s a pretty short ride.
Arashiyama as part of a one day Kyoto itinerary
I started off at Kyoto Station for one day in Arashiyama and Sagano:
- JR train from Kyoto station
- Visit to Hozukyo station
- Sagano scenic train from Kameoka torroko station to Arashiyama torokko station
- Visit to Okochi Sanso Garden and teahouse
- Walk through Arashiyama bamboo forest
- Visit to Tenryuji Temple (world heritage site in Kyoto)
- Walk across Togetsukyo bridge
- Visit to Arashiyama monkey park
- JR train back to Kyoto station!
JR train at Kyoto Station
What makes taking the train to Arashiyama easy?!
There’s a sign with Arashiyama on it!
So you are looking to take the train that is bound for Saga-Arashiyama.
Head to the platform and get on the train!
Which train station to get off at?!
This is NOT the last stop on the train line so you’ll have to pay attention.
But there’s a good chance there will be tons of other people who will be getting off at Saga-Arashiyama too so it will probably be hard to miss!
It’s about a 15 minute train ride from Kyoto station to Arashiyama.
And then once at the Saga-Arashiyama station…
How long does it take to get to the popular Arashiyama attractions?!
You can walk to all of these places!
Google maps can help guide the way, and you’ll likely come across signs to the popular sites once you’re in the area too.
It will be about a 10 minute walk to get to the start of the bamboo grove walking path.
You’ll go through the bamboo forest to get to the garden. The garden is right near the far end of the bamboo forest when coming from the JR train station.
So it will depend on how slowly you walk through the forest, but from the train station to the garden might take you around 20 minutes.
You can visit the teahouse while you’re there too!
To Hozugawa River boat ride
If a Hozugawa River boat ride is your first activity once you get to Arashiyama, it will be around a 10-15 minute walk from the train station to get to the area to take the boat.
It will be about a 10-15 minute walk to get to the famous Togetsukyo Bridge.
You’ll cross over the Togetsukyo Bridge to get the monkey park.
Once past the bridge, it’s a few minutes walk.
From the train station to the entrance of the monkey park will likely be around a 15-20 minute walk. (Then you have another 20-30 minutes of uphill walking to get to the monkeys and the summit with city views!)
What about to the Sagano scenic railway?!
So another tourist activity in this part of Kyoto is taking the Sagano scenic railway aka the Sagano romantic train.
In order to take this train, you need to go to one of the train stations that are on this railway.
There are 3 main train stations that you would catch this train from, and they are called “torokko” stations:
Which train station to take the scenic train from?!
This depends on how you want to plan out your day, and whether you want to take the scenic train FROM Arashiyama or TO Arashiyama. (You can also take it both ways.)
The Saga torokko station is right next to the Saga-Arashiyama JR train station.
So this can make it a convenient station to start the scenic train ride.
The Arashiyama torokko station is closest to one end of the bamboo forest (it’s a few minutes walk), so it could be convenient to take the scenic train from here after you walk through the bamboo grove.
It can also make the Arashiyama Torokko station a convenient place to end your scenic train ride, if you opt to take the train in the opposite direction.
To end your scenic train ride at the Arashiyama torokko station, you would board the train at the Kameoka torokko station.
Getting to the Kameoka torokko station is pretty easy too. You would take the same JR train from Kyoto station, but you’ll stay on the train for longer.
HAPPY KYOTO STATION TO ARASHIYAMA TRAIN RIDE!
Use this Kyoto tourist map to plan out your 5 days in Kyoto with Arashiyama!
- Day 1: Top tourist spots with one day bus pass
- Day 2: Fushimi Inari shrine hike through 1,000 torii gates
- Day 3: Philosopher’s Path walk
- Day 4: Arashiyama and Sagano
- Day 5: Kurama Kibune Ohara with one day pass
More quick tips for planning your trip to JapanThere are affiliate links on this page that take you to partner websites.
For more on planning your trip to Kyoto, see the 1-day, 2-day, and 5-day Kyoto itineraries. If you'll be in Kyoto in the spring, also see the 1-day cherry blossom photo walk.
Hotels in KyotoSearch for deals on Kyoto hotels here.
For hostels across Japan, try this top backpacker's hostel chain.
Kyoto can also be a good place to stay at a Japanese-style ryokan, like this one. Or if you're on more of a budget, try this one.
Also use the map below to see more hotels in Kyoto!
The super fast train in JapanIn general, 2 long-distance shinkansen train trips will likely end up making it so the JR pass will be worth it.
See the current price of a JR pass from an official vendor.
See an example of traveling by the fast train from Tokyo to Kyoto.
NEW way of buying individual shinkansen train tickets online!I will start by saying I have NOT bought train tickets online this way (yet!) to verify this! (But it's on my list for my next trip to Japan!)
There's an online train ticket booking method that's popular for other parts of Asia, and they are just now branching out to Japan.
You can now buy train tickets online here for popular shinkansen train routes. (And some bus routes too.)
I've used this booking site for taking the train from Thailand to Malaysia, and it worked out well, so I would expect it to work out well in Japan too!
The thing is, though, that you need to pick up the physical train tickets in person.
So it won't be enough to just buy the tickets online. I had to do this in Bangkok for my train ticket - and it was easy! So again, I would think it'd be easy for Japan train tickets too.
Search for popular routes in Japan here. For example, Tokyo to Kyoto.
If you end up buying train tickets online this way, I would love to hear how it goes! Whether that's good, or if it came with some challenges!
Natural disasters in JapanUnfortunately, Japan can be prone to natural disasters which means risk for travel delays. So be sure to look at travel insurance for natural disasters.
My travel insurance took care of my accommodation and food costs when I was forced to stay extra days in Japan because of a typhoon.
See how much insurance costs for your trip.
Best travel guides for JapanIf you're at step 1 in your planning process, have a look at this Discover Japan book.
For "books" that won't take up space in your suitcase, see the best PDF guides.
See more of the best books for Japan trip planning.
Create your Japan itinerary
- 5 days in Kyoto
- Cost of climbing Mt Fuji from Tokyo
- Where to go for famous Mt Fuji views as seen in pictures
- Know before you go to Hiroshima
- One day in Miyajima with famous floating torii views
- 3 days in Okinawa, Japan's tropical islands
- Cherry blossom photo walk
- When is the JR pass worth it for train travel?
- Tokyo to Kyoto train
- Hostels in Japan