6 Kyoto Outdoor Adventures For Nature Loving Families

kyoto bamboo garden

Kyoto is a fantastic city with gems around nearly every corner. If you’re the kind of family who loves getting out into nature, here is a list of the town’s best Kyoto outdoor adventures for nature loving families. Kyoto is gorgeous. It’s as simple as that. With its millennia-old temples and shrines, traditional artwork, and beauty. Kyoto is teeming with places to discover. Attempt Kyoto on foot, on two wheels, or by tram.

kyoto by bike

1- Arashiyama

Although the areas around Arashiyama Station and Togetsukyo Bridge are crowded, the Arashiyama area is a worthwhile excursion.

There are many hiking and walking trails around here, that are sprinkled with temples and traditional gardens.

The bamboo grove is soothing and the fall colors here are stunning. Monkey Park is an inviting place to mingle (and take selfies) with free-roaming Japanese macaques.

2- Philosopher’s Walk

The narrow stone path that connects Ginkakuji (Temple of the Silver Pavilion) to Eikando is called Tetsugaku no michi.

Also known as philosopher’s walk, this is because philosopher Kitaro Nishida used to take the route daily to think and reflect.

The pedestrian route runs under a procession of trees along a canal and is lined with temples and shrines. Who knows what hidden talents this walk might stir up!

3- Kuramadera and Mt. Kurama

Kurama Temple sits at the foothills of Mt. Kurama in northern Kyoto. The lushly-wooded region is believed to be home to numerous spirits, like the mythological tengu or long-nosed goblin.

The art of reiki was also born here and there’s a natural hot springs in the region.

4- Maruyama Park

This pretty park is near the Gion area. So after you tire of geisha gawping, head over to Maruyama for a stroll through the classical garden with trails that wind around ponds.

In spring, this is a popular spot to do hanami (cherry blossom viewing).

5- Higashiyama by Bicycle

Higashiyama is a district of beaches and is especially pleasant to explore by bike. Highlights include famous temples but it’s most fun cycling through the narrow streets to get to them. Stop whenever something catches your eye and you’ll discover a wealth of culture and experience local life too.
A bike can be rented for as little as ¥500 per day, and if you don’t think you can handle the hills pick up an electric bicycle.

6- Sanzenin and Ohara by bicycle

For a more strenuous biking excursion, head up to the village of Ohara in the northern part of Kyoto. The ride is all about 20km with uphill climbs and picturesque views.

It should take a few hours. But once there, your reward is a visit to the temple complex at Sanzenin and the quaint shops around it.

Also, check out Otonoashi Waterfall and consider staying in one of the hot spring inns in the region for a true cultural experience.

For more holidays with the family check out our guide to best places to visit in 2018.

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