For my third day in Kyoto, I made my way out to the Kyoto suburb of Arashiyama. It is a short 20 minute train trip from Kyoto Station on the Sagano Line (train stop: Saga Arashiyama). This suburb was once an place of retreat for the Emperors of the Heian Period (794-1192 CE). Nowadays, in addition to being a quiet, bedroom suburb of Kyoto, it is also home to several historical temples, and is particularly known for its beautiful autumn colors.
This morning was the first day of poor weather with dark clouds and occasional rain. When I arrived at Arashiyama, I decided take the first train out on the Sagano Romantic Train. It’s a leisurely 25 minute, approximately 7 mile ride to the terminal station of Kameoka. The train chugs along slowly as you can take in the beautiful river valley and the colorful trees around you. You can disembark at Kameoka, or you can take the train back to Arashiyama (approximately 1200 yen round trip) for a nice one hour excursion. If you are also inclined, you can take a two hour boat ride along the river to Arashiyama.
Nison-in Temple was first built in 834-847 CE, and currently enshrines the two images of Shaka and Amida and are considered national treasures.
This temple was a lot bigger than the other ones. This one also had more interior buildings. Your visit through the temple complex is a long, circuitous route on boardwalks. And since this is a Buddhist temple, you have to remove your shoes for your tour. Thankfully since it was raining outside, the entire walk was covered.
Arashiyama is a very easy trip from Kyoto. It’s not even quite a day trip, since you can easily see the town in about four hours. It’s just a short train ride from Kyoto proper and provides a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to both historical sites and beautiful scenery.