Walking and cycling tours of Kyoto’s Arashiyama district are sure to cross the Togetsu-kyo Bridge. In the summer months, pause to watch local fishermen on the riverbanks or set sail on a boat cruise to admire the bridge from the water. Visit with a guide to learn about the bridge’s long history including how it was first built in the 9th century and has appeared in numerous Japanese films.
Things to know before you go
- Togetsu-kyo Bridge is a popular Kyoto landmark and a must-visit spot for nature lovers and photographers.
- The bridge has pedestrian walkways at both sides, as well as a central lane for cars, bikes, and rickshaws.
- For the best views, grab a waterfront table at one of the many cafés and restaurants dotted along the north bank.
- The bridge is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers.
How to get there
Togetsu-kyo Bridge is located at the southern end of Kyoto’s Arashiyama district. The closest train station is Arashiyama (Keifuku line), just a short stroll from the north end of the bridge. From Kyoto Station, trains run directly to Saga-Arashiyama Station, a 10-minute walk from the bridge.
When to get there
For the most impressive photos, time your visit for spring, when cherry blossoms bloom along the riverbanks, or fall, when the colors on the mountains are most vibrant. If you’re visiting Kyoto during the December Hanatoro festival, be sure to stop by Togetsu-kyo at night, when the bridge is illuminated with hundreds of lanterns.
Exploring the Arashiyama district of Kyoto
In the foothills of Mt Arashiyama, the western Kyoto district of Arashiyama is home to many of the city’s most popular sites. Visit the mountaintop Iwatayama Monkey Park for an expansive view over Kyoto, then cross the Togetsu-kyo Bridge to visit the Zen Buddhist temple of Tenryu-ji and stroll through the hypnotic pathways of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Other sights include the Jojakkoji and Gioji temples, the Okochi Sanso Villa, and Saga-Toriimoto Preserved Street, where many of the historic townhouses have been converted into shops and restaurants.
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