Explore the best trails in Kyoto with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
A great hike of Hiei. Take the bus to Shugakuin. You'll see a river at the stop. walk along that river up to the trailhead (called Kirara-oka). You take that all the way up, no way to get lost. You will have to pay 600 yen to enter the facilities. You can return or walk through the temple compound and descend to Sakamoto station and ride that back to Kyoto. There are wild monkeys on the hike sometimes, but they won't approach you.
Directions: Get to Kyoto Station around 7-8, take #72 bus to Kiyotaki. From Kiyotaki Station, walk down the road into town to the shrine gate across the river. The road will ascend all the way up the 5 kilometer (3 mile) climb into the Atago Shrine area. There are several return routes. You can branch over the mountain to Takao, with a bus ride back, or go back through Getsurinji temple. The trail to these are located on the right next to the final stone steps up to Atago Shrine. Getsurinji is an ad hoc temple of a couple of Buddhist statue carving recluses that live on the mountain. Go down farther on this path and it leads to Kuuya Falls, a beautiful waterfall. You can return back by bus from Takao or from Kiyotaki.
The scenery is beautiful, of course, especially during cherry blossom season or fall foliage, but it really is more of a stroll than anything else. The path is flat for the most part; the plus side is that it's almost barrier-free / wheelchair-friendly, the downside is that it can be VERY crowded.
Thanks for the guide. It was very clear and I had no trouble following your tour. I went there relatively late, so by the time I hit the 8th/9th stop, it was getting kind of dark. I ended up turning back and didn't go all the way to 11th stop. It was a really great tour and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I took tons of photos there. I even gave an American couple directions with your tour. It was awesome! :-)