Four fun hikes in Kyoto, Japan

Feb 21, 2018

One of the best ways to explore Kyoto is on foot. These routes will take you up mountains for panoramic views and down gentler paths through its charming villages.

A view from Daimonji


After you’re done exploring Ginkaku-ji temple, boost your energy levels with a decent lunch and head straight for the nearby trail that takes you up Mount Daimonji. It’s a steep climb, but take your time, enjoy the shady surroundings, and you’ll make it to the viewpoint on the side of the mountain in about 45 minutes. When you get there, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning panorama of the city, with many of its landmarks laid out right in front of you. The summit of Daimonji is a further 20-minute hike, though the views from it are mostly obscured by trees.

Tip: Bring along your binoculars – you can see for miles on a clear day.
How to get there: Take bus 5, 17, or 100 from Kyoto’s main train station to Ginkaku-ji temple.

SEE ALSO: The other side of Kyoto – it’s not all temples and shrines

Meet the monkeys


Head to nearby Arashiyama for a hike to the top of Mount Iwata to meet the monkeys. The path to the top isn’t so long, but it is steep so you’ll want to take it at a steady pace. The monkeys run free, and you can even feed them from inside a hut. You can also enjoy great views of Kyoto City (see if you can spot Kyoto Tower). The park is open from 9am to 5pm and costs 550 yen (approximately US$5.07) for adults and 250 yen for children.

Tip: Don’t touch the monkeys as they’re not tame.
How to get there: From Kyoto’s main station, take the train to Saga-Arashiyama station on the Sagano line. There’s also a Hankyu line station (Arashiyama) if you’re coming from Umeda in Osaka (change at Katsura).