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Arashiyama Half Day Tour
Famed for its beautiful bamboo forests, Arashiyama has far more to offer and is a wonderful place to explore, a short distance from Kyoto. This half-day tour takes in the bamboo as well as shrines and temples renowned for their cultural importance.
Today, you will be met at your hotel by your local guide and use the local transport network to reach Arashiyama. Just a short distance from the city centre, Arashiyama has been a popular destination to visit as far back as the 8th century when it was popular with noblemen.
Today, Arashiyama forms an essential part of Kyoto’s cultural identity and you will begin by seeing te Okochi Mountain Villa. Formerly home of Samurai/Film star Okochi Denjiro, the villa has been maintained magnificently and your guide will lead you through several stunning gardens and meditation halls, before a spot of green tea.
The bamboo groves are perhaps Arashiyama’s most popular feature and their shoots and stalks have been used in traditional craft for centuries. Your guide will explain the history of the forest and its uses in Japanese culture as you make your way through the forest as it moves with the wind.
Arashiyama’s noble history led it to being an important destination of Imperial families and you will be taken to explore Nonomiya Shrine, a Shinto shrine where unmarried Imperial Princesses would stay for several years to purify themselves before marriage. The final stop is Tenryuji, one of Kyoto’s five great temples and the largest in Arashiyama. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the 14th century and is surrounded by very impressive gardens with several walking paths which you can explore.
After your tour comes to an end, your guide will give you instructions back to your hotel, though with things finishing up in the Higashiyama area, they can also recommend some more independent exploration if you wish.
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