If Tokyo represents Japan’s diversity and Osaka represents Japan’s culinary side, Kyoto represents Japan’s spirit. As Japan’s capital for over 1,000 years, Kyoto is home to thousands of temples and shrines and a number of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Many consider Kyoto as the birthplace of much of Japan’s art, culture, and food.
Located about 20 minutes by train from central Kyoto, the Arashiyama district is in western Kyoto and has several famous sites that make this a worthy day trip. It has been designated a National Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty by Japan.
One of the most impressive and most visited temples is the Zen Buddhist Temple, Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion). Dating back to 1397, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The top stories of the temple are covered with pure gold leaf. In the sunlight, the gold reflects across the surrounding pond. The Kinkaku-ji Temple is located on a Japanese strolling garden, meant to depict a harmony between heaven and earth.
Arashiyama is also home to one of the most photographed natural sights in Japan, the Sagano Bamboo Forest. The wooden paths of this natural forest are flanked by tall bamboo that can reach almost 50 meters (165 feet) high. The “music” the bamboo stalks produce as they sway in the wind is an attraction in its own right.
One of the best ways to get around the charming streets of Arashiyama is by bike. Ride to the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge (Moon Crossing Bridge), which crosses the Hozu River. The views of the nearby mountains are stunning and the adjacent park is filled with dozens of cherry blossom trees.
If you arrive at Arashiyama Station, known as Randen Line, you’ll find yourself in the Kimono Forest. It consists of 600 poles that are 6.5 feet high and each one is wrapped with Kyoto Yuzen kimono fabrics. The poles are illuminated by LED lights at night and give a completely different look and feel compared to the daytime display.
Rent or purchase a Pocket Wi-Fi Hotspot to take with you to Kyoto or anywhere you visit in Japan. It is perfect for when you are in the airport, away from your hotel, and as you travel through the country. With it, you’ll have your own secure Wi-Fi connection – you won’t have to worry about finding public Wi-Fi locations. Great for emails, GPS and posting pictures!
For ease of use and clarity of service, download our Wi-Fi Calling App onto everyone’s phone. With a Wi-Fi connection, you will be able to call each other for free app to app and make calls to the U.S. for as little as 2 cents per minute.