Hiking recommendation in Kyoto

KYOTO

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

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.
Official website
http://atagojinjya.jp/

Best season

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.

View point

At the middle of the trail, you can see wonderful view of Kyoto city.

Mizuowakare

Omotesando course and Mizuo course meet up here. From here, it takes about 40 minutes to the top.

Black gate

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.

Tsukinowadera Temple

A small, quiet Buddhist temple on the way down the mountain.

Kuuya-no-Taki Waterfall

When you descend to the entrance of Tsukinowadera course, there is another path to the waterfall. It takes about 20 minutes there and back.

To Kiyotaki

After walking in the cedar woods, you will return to Kiyotaki.

 

After hiking

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.

Hot spring

Taking a bath at hot spring “Fufu no Yu” after hiking will make you relax.
https://www.hotespa.net/spa/fufu/

Local cuisine

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”.

稲 ine 京都・嵐山 Kyoto Arashiyama
嵯峨嵐山、天龍寺門前にある稲は、ベジタリアン料理、ビーガン料理、嵯峨とうふ、嵐山さくら餅、黒本蕨餅の専門店。豊饒の美味と四季の美景とともに、どうぞごゆるりとおくつろぎください。

Tips

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 !