Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest: Kyoto Treasures

Today, we visited two of Japan’s national treasures.

We started at Fushimi Inari Shinto shrine, famous for its seemingly endless torii ⛩. The torii gates create a trail up Mt. Inari, taking an hour or two to hike. The main shrine is at the base of the mountain.image

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Exploring the shrine was a surreal, somewhat hypnotic experience.

Later, a slow stroll through the Arashiyama bamboo forest gives a similar feeling, with bamboo trees replacing the torii gates.image

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Near the forest is the estate of late Ōkōchi Sansō, famous Japanese film actor. Along with green tea, you are provided a tour of his garden and panoramic views of Kyoto from the mountainside.image

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6 thoughts on “Fushimi Inari and Arashiyama Bamboo Forest: Kyoto Treasures

  1. The color the style of the Shrine and Torii gates are so inspiring. It looks like a tunnel. The Bamboo forest is so enchanting you are among good luck. What view from the actor’s house of Koyto awesome. Enjoy Love ya both God bless

  2. Love your post ! Just the right post I’m looking for ! Is it convenient to travel from the torii gates to the bamboo forest ? Since I’m only in Kyoto for a day . Hope to hear from you .

    1. Hi Denise!

      We found it very convenient to go from the Fushimi Inari gates to Arashima Bamboo Forest. It’s about a 50 minute trip using JR metro (which if you have a Japan Rail pass, you can ride this line for free) plus a bit of walking through Arashiyama town. We didn’t exactly plan to go from one to the next, but we got to the bamboo forest a few hours before dusk and it was a magical time to visit. You can try mid-morning as well!

      Have a nice trip! You can definitely visit both of these places in just one day.

      -Harold and Jennifer

  3. Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing. I’m excited to explore these places when I go to Kyoto in October. As a first time traveler, do you have any recommendations getting to these two places and how much time to spend at each places? Thank you!

    1. Hi Anne!

      October should be a beautiful sight in Kyoto as all the leaves are turning. The weather should also be nice and quite sunny.

      These two locations can easily be done in a day. Fushimi Inari can be reasonably explored in under 2 hours, and depending on if you want to hike all the way up to the TOP of the mountain, you can spend several hours more. This will depend on your affinity for hiking and the site, since after a while it does start to look the same. But the top does have spectacular views if you want to make the trek (it’s paved and there are vendors with food and beverages on the way).

      We took the JR metro to Arashiyama, and that’s definitely the way to go. It’s probably possible to take a cab, but it wouldn’t be in the spirit of Japanese travel, nor would it be very cost effective. The bamboo forest corridor isn’t terribly long, but strolling peacefully along it takes a nice while. At the end, you have several options for continuing the journey, including the Ōkōchi Sansō estate which was serene. Walking back through the forest and toward town, you can easily have spent a few hours here and had time to spare for night plans in the city center.

      Let us know how it went!

      -Jennifer and Harold

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