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6 Hidden Spots to Visit in the Saga Arashiyama Area

Arashiyama is a part of Kyoto that’s full of famous and incredible locations, like the Sagano Bamboo Forest and the Monkey Park, and beautifully scenic spots like the Togetsukyo Bridge and Tenryu-ji Temple. But the list certainly doesn’t stop there. These temples are just a few hidden spots you should visit on your next visit to Arashiyama!

Daikaku-ji Temple

Daikaku-ji was once the imperial palace of the Emperor Saga, and has since been converted into a large temple, whose grounds include the elegant Shinden Hall, or emperor’s residence, which was moved and reconstructed from the Kyoto Imperial Palace, and Osawa Pond, a nationally-designated site of natural beauty with beautiful cherry blossoms.

Jojakko-ji Temple

Jojakko-ji Temple’s temple grounds are buried in the beautiful maple leaves that cover the side of Mt. Ogura, and the top of its two-storied pagoda offers a panoramic view of Kyoto City. Whether you’re looking for the vibrant reds of autumn, or the fresh, bright green of spring and summer, you’re sure to find this temple beautiful.

Gio-ji Temple

Arashiyama’s legendary bamboo is still visible from Gio-ji Temple, but it’s when the sunlight shines through the trees in the temple ground and on to the mossy carpet below that the temple truly becomes magical. This incredibly green location is a wonderful natural escape.

Nison-in Temple

Nison-in Temple is located on the side of Mt. Ogura, and when you pass through its main gate, which was brought here and reconstructed from Fushimi Castle, you’ll be met by a temple road lined with red maple trees.

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple is undoubtedly most well known for the 8,000 Buddhist statues that stand solemnly in rows in a spectacularly unusual scene. In summer, these stone statues are lit with candles during the Buddhist Memorial Service with a Thousand Lanterns. In autumn, visitors can enjoy the look of these statues together with the autumn leaves.

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple

You’re sure to feel like you’re traveling back in time to a different age in Japan on the approach to this temple, when you’ll pass through the Saga Toriimoto Preserved Street. At the end of the street you’ll find a large, grand red torii gate.

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple itself is a unique temple for its 1,200 original statues. Each one was created by a different artist, and each has a different look and expression.