After Tokyo, my next base was in Kyoto. There can be lots of side trips which can be taken up from Kyoto and Arashiyama is a top side trip destination from Kyoto.
An easy option was to take a train to Arashiyama from Kyoto but more adventurous option was to take a bus to visit Jingoji temple and then take a hike to Arashiyama. It all worked out sooooo well, it was an awesome hike. With Arashiyama not at its peak colours in mid november, this hike was a good compensation for it as it provided some scintillating views and was worth writing a separate blog for it 🙂
In order to reach Jingoji temple, board the JR bus from Kyoto bus station to Takao and get down at Yamashiro Takao bus stop. Just along side the bus stop there are steps going down towards Jingo ji temple. Moment you start going down the steps, you can see autumn colours and as you approach further towards the temple colours get more prominent and awesome.
In Jingoji temple there is a tradition of “kawarake-nage” where to throw small ceramic plates(kawarake) in the valley. I tried it out …well it was fun ;). Luckily one fellow tourist recorded it for me.
As you come out of Jingo ji temple, you will see sign boards directing you to Kiyotaki trail. This is the hiking route to Arashiyama via Kiyotaki village. One thing to note here is that this hiking trail has 2 routes, one goes to Arashiyama and other goes to Hozukyo, then from Hozukyo you can board a train to Arashiyama which is the next station. I would suggest to take Hozukyo route which i ended up taking by mistake but then it was all for good 😉
Arashiyama is quite beautiful but unfortunately it was not having peak autumn colours. It is again crowded with lots of tourists. You can probably spend few hours in Arashiyama and at its peak it will definitely offer great opportunities to click photos.
There is a Sagano Romantic train as it is called runs which along Hozugawa river between Arashiyama and Kamoeka. It runs through the Maple trees on mountains and it is an open train which gives you a good view of autumn colours. Unfortunately i boarded train when it was about to get dark and nothing was visible :(. From Kamoeka one can board train to Kyoto.
Overall it was a nice day trip and i would recommend this as part of Itinerary.