Discover the best trails and hikes in Kyoto

trails and hikes in Kyoto

Kyoto is surrounded by mountains and has fantastic hiking trails and gentle walks you would never believe existed. While some are more accessible, there is a hike for almost everyone and all fitness levels. A chance to be alone on your vacation is also a beautiful activity to include in your list of vacation activities. These are the trails to explore if you need a getaway, a moment of peace, or a remarkable opportunity to enjoy your own company. Before you travel to Japan, below are the best trail and hike spots in Kyoto.

Mount Atago

"Wifey @ Mount Atago" by kodomut is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.  trails and hikes in Kyoto
Wifey @ Mount Atago” by kodomut is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

This incredible hike takes you to the summit of Kyoto’s tallest mountain in the city. Depending on your fitness level, climbing and descending Mount Atago can take 4-6 hours. It is one of the best day hikes in Kyoto and is situated on the northwest side of the area.

Keep an eye out for wild animals, including small deer, along the path as you ascend Mount Atago to its summit. More importantly, don’t be shocked if you see a lot of babies and young children on the trail. This is due to the myth that young children who visit the shrine may receive a lifetime of immunity and fire protection.

This mountain is open thought out the year, but it is very much advisable to avoid climbing during winter if you lack the required equipment.

Fushimi Inari Hike

Fushimi Inari gates  trails and hikes in Kyoto
Fushimi Inari gates

You can easily travel to Fushimi Inari from any location in Kyoto thanks to Japan’s excellent public transportation system. The entrance can be reached in two major ways. You can either take the JR line to the Inari Station or the Keihan Main Line to the Fushimi-Inari Station. You can always sign up for a guided tour of Kyoto if you’re staying in Osaka and have limited traveling time. You will experience the best of Kyoto in a single day with this tour.

Fushimi Inari is located on Mount Inari, a small mountain that rises 233 meters above sea level. As a result, climbing Fushimi Inari is not physically demanding.

Also, the Fushimi Inari hike does not have to last all day. Give yourself about 5 hours to complete the hike so you can stop for pictures, explore the forest shrines along the way, and you can also have lunch at the halfway point.


Arashiyama bamboo forest  trails and hikes in Kyoto
Arashiyama bamboo forest

The Arashiyama Mountains are one of Japan’s most beautiful spots, as you can take beautiful pictures there. The brilliant sights can be reached by bus, train, or taxi from Kyoto. There are many hikes or short walks to enjoy, such as the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove or a peaceful hike to Nison-in Temple. Visitors can also walk along the Hozu River from Arashiyama’s Togetsukyo Bridge and return via the Sagano Scenic Railway. It is well-known worldwide for its bamboo grove and the UNESCO World Heritage site Tenryu-Ji temple. It is also known for the view of the elegant Togetsukyo bridge with the densely forested Arashiyama mountain in the background.

Shogunzuka and Seiryuden Hike

Shogunzuka Seiryuden view point in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto  trails and hikes in Kyoto
Shogunzuka Seiryuden view point in Yamashina-ku, Kyoto

The city-viewing mountain is easily accessible from Chion-in Temple in southern Higashiyama. They have the new Shogunzuka Seiryuden Viewpoint and the previous viewpoint in Higashiyama Sancho-Koen (Higashiyama Summit Park). The Seiryuden, a section of Shorten-in Temple, first opened its doors in 2015.

This two-hour hike includes a 30-minute break at the summit to enjoy the views. Even though the switchbacks make it a fairly steep climb, anyone in good shape can complete this hike.


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