Arashiyama offers a lot, from the awesome Bamboo Grove, temples and shrines, just strolling around and shopping. We stayed for three days at Arashiyama Benkei Ryokan, and that was the highlight of our 26 days vacation in Japan. Our room had a view of Oi River, Togetsukyo Bridge, and Arashiyama Mountain. We also did a Rickshaw Tour and had the best Rickshaw Man, Ricky (Yuya). Ricky took our best pictures. Arashiyama will be splendid in autumn.
No picture can capture the feeling of standing in the middle of this sprawling bamboo grove–the whole thing has a palpable sense of being different from any natural forest we know of. You can access it directly from Arashiyama's main street, a little north of Tenryu-Ji Temple entrance, but it's best paired with a visit to that temple (exit the north gate, take a left, and in no time you'll be in the grove). There is only one main track through the grove that leads uphill slowly. The entrance to the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa is right in front of you once you get to the top of the hill .
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