Let’s enjoy hiking and sightseeing in Kyoto !
We would like to introduce you Mt. Atago day hike, a popular hiking course in Kyoto.
It would be a lot of fun if you enjoy both hiking and sightseeing during your trip !
- About Mt. Atago
- Best season
- How to get to Mt. Atago ?
- Omotesando Course 【Kiyotaki – Mizuowakare – Atago shrine】
- Tsukinowadera Course 【Atago shrine – Tsukinowadera temple – Kiyotaki】
- After hiking
About Mt. Atago
Mt. Atago (924m), located near Arashiyama area in the west of Kyoto city, is one of the popular mountain in Kyoto.
Mt. Atago has been related to Shitoism and it has Atago Shrine which is a deity of fire on top of the mountain.
This mountain is familiar to many people, not only by locals but also by visitors from all over the country.
We can enjoy Mt. Atago day hike throughout the year. The most beautiful season would be autumn, as we can enjoy color gradation of autumn leaves.
If you like hiking in winter, winter is also good season to enjoy snow. Please make sure to bring your crampons.
Here is Atago shrine’s twitter which they tweet weather condition every morning. Twitter： https://twitter.com/atagojinjya
Picture taken in the middle of November 2020
Picture taken in the beginning of March 2020
How to get to Mt. Atago ?
From our hostel “K’s House Kyoto”, taking JR train and Kyoto bus is convenient.
JR Kyoto station → JR Saga Arashiyama station 【by JR Sagano line, about 17min, 240JPY】
JR Saga Arashiyama station → Arashiyama Tenryuji Mae bus stop 【about 10 min walk】
Arashiyama Tenryuji Mae bus stop → Kiyotaki bus stop 【by Kyoto bus, about 11min, 230JPY】
On JR line, you can use your Japan Rail Pass. On Kyoto Bus, Japan Rail Pass is not accepted, but you can use IC card (Suica, Pasmo, Icoca, etc) if you have.
Please make sure to check return bus timetable in advance as well as departure, since there are not so many buses on this route.
K’s House Kyoto Website
Backpackers Hostel K’s House Kyoto | The best hostel / guesthouse in Kyoto Japan (kshouse.jp)
Omotesando Course 【Kiyotaki – Mizuowakare – Atago shrine】
There are several trails on Mt. Atago. Omote sando course is the main route of this mountain.
Start of main trail
The main trail starts from this orange trii gate.
Even though the route is quite steep and has a lot of steps, it is well maintained.
At the middle of the trail, you can see wonderful view of Kyoto city.
Omotesando course and Mizuo course meet up here. From here, it takes about 40 minutes to the top.
When you reach the black gate, you are almost there.
The honden of Atago shrine
After going up the long stairs, finally you make it to the honden (main hall) of Atago shrine.
Tsukinowadera Course 【Atago shrine – Tsukinowadera temple – Kiyotaki】
Entrance of Tsukinowadera course
When you take another path next to the long stairs, you will find the trail to Tsukinowadera temple.
This route is also well maintained, but a little bit narrower.
A small, quiet Buddhist temple on the way down the mountain.
When you descend to the entrance of Tsukinowadera course, there is another path to the waterfall. It takes about 20 minutes there and back.
After walking in the cedar woods, you will return to Kiyotaki.
Mt. Atago is close to Arashiyama area which is one of the most popular sightseeing spot in Kyoto.
We would recommend you stop at Arashiyama and enjoy sightseeing on the way home.
Strolling Arashiyama area
There are so many attractive places such as path of bamboo, Togetsukyo Bridge, etc. in this area.
Taking a bath at hot spring “Fufu no Yu” after hiking will make you relax.
Having some local specialties would be another fun. Delicious food, sweets, you have a lot of choices in Arashiyama area.
The photo below is Udon noodles with Yuba at a restaurant “Saga Tofu Ine”.
It would be better to start early to enjoy hiking and sightseeing in one day as it is about 5 hours hiking to the top and back.
When you make a plan, please check the latest information and enjoy your safe hiking !