On the far west side of Kyoto are the Arashiyama Mountains. This day hike is one of the more popular in Kyoto. You get to see a variety of parks, temples, and wildlife. Walking across the Togetsu-kyo bridge on a sunny day is beautiful. The bamboo forest is always super busy, but it is worth the visit. It is fairly easy to get away from the crowds by walking up the river, or you could explore any of Arashiyama trails outside the bamboo forest. Visiting the monkeys at Kameyama-Koen Park is super fun. The baby monkey's are so cute. There are some Onsen's nearby as well.
Distance 4 km
Total Vertical 142 m
2-3 Hour Walk
You might want to see the Bamboo Forest first, since it is the most popular. On the way there, I took a cab because we were short on time. There are lots of trains, including an express to downtown Kyoto. The Bamboo Forest is over pretty quick. After exiting the forest I headed towards the river. The river walk and crossing the Togetsu-Kyo Bridge was very enjoyable. After that, the 20 minute hike up to the Arashiyama Monkey Park was next. No need for a map once you get past the entrance.
Bamboo, Monkey's, and The River
The bamboo forest looks great in photos but the Japanese Macaque's are way more entertaining. Watching them lay in sun, while being groomed by their buddy is hilarious. The baby monkey's are super cute and full of energy. If you have time, sit by the river and watch the long wooden boat cruise by. Or maybe feed some koi from the 400 year old Togetsu-Kyo wooden bridge. If you want to relax after a day on your feet, one of the nearby Onsen's will sort you out. Hope you enjoy the Arashiyama trails.
3 Hour Walk