Kyoto Day Trip from Osaka Itinerary 2023 : Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Fushimi Inari Shrine , Nishiki Market

Let's go to Kyoto!

Day trips from Osaka are the norm if you there for a holiday. With cities such as Kyoto, Kobe, Nara and Hiroshima within a 2 hours radius, heading to them is a manageable affair when you are on a holiday there. We decided to pick Kyoto as our destination for this day trip.

You might want to consider staying another day in Kyoto as there are so much to see.
Accommodation from are available at this link.

If you want a fuss-free trip to catch all the famous sites in Kyoto, this tour from Klook would be the perfect way to travel

Klook: Kyoto Temples and Shrines Day Tour from with meal
Covers - Fushimi - Inari-Taisha, Kiyomizu-Dera, Kinkaku-Ji. Arashiyama

Klook: Kyoto Sagano Romantic Train, Arashiyama, Kiyomizudera & Fushimi Inari-Taisha Day Tour
Covers the popular Kyoto attractions with a Romantic Train ride


There are 4 options for you to choose to get to Kyoto. The main stop will be Kyoto station before making your way to your preferred destination. Depending on your location, you could choose between Shinkansen (15 Min from Shin-Osaka Station), JR Kyoto Line (29 min from Osaka Station), Keihan Mainline (55 min from Yodoybashi Station) and Hankyu Kyoto Main Line ( 44 min from Hankyu Umeda Station. Prices range from ¥1400 + for the Shinkansen t¥400 for the Hankyu Main Line.

Our advice is to hop on the nearest train station located to you. With transfers and wait time, it will probably take similar timing to reach Kyoto. For the record, we took the  JR Kyoto Line to reach Kyoto in under an hour from Cross Hotel Osaka.

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Getting There
Kyoto Station to Saga-Arashiyama Station ( San-In Line)

Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Nonmiya Shrine, Tenryu-Ji temple, Arashiyama Street Food
Saga-Arashiyama Station
Getting to Arashiyama might be a tad confusing if you do not have Google Map. If that is the case, take the South Gate,, look for the 19th Century Hall ( at the exit of Saga-Arashiyama Station), walk alongside the track next to the locomotive. Make a left turn, once you see the Torokko Okisan Bicycle Rental shop.
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Walk Straight and you would pass by a small Buddhist Temple. Walk to the end of the road and turn left. You would reach the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Entrance.

Buddhist Temple Arashiyama

Here is a map for reference.
Arashiyama Map

You know that you are on the right path when you can smell the scent of Japanese Street Food. At the entrance to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest is a small selection of stalls selling favourite Japanese Street Food.
Mini Octopus anyone?

The walk to the centre of the forest took us about 15 minutes. You have to take the walk if you would like a perfect view of the forest.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Crowds can get pretty big during the day. It is best to visit the forest early in the morning or late in the evening. If possible, head there during the weekday for a visit.
The best view would probably be by looking up. Otherwise, you would face a sea of tourist and locals alike in every photo you take. Once in a while, you could take a decent shot of the forest.

Too lazy to walk?

You might like to book a trishaw which will bring you from the entrance to the heart of the forest via a special route.

You can make your booking for trishaw at Klook 

You might even spot Kimonos in the forest too.


Along the way, you can make a stop at Tenryu-Ji temple, a world heritage site with a beautiful ancient garden. As we were press for time, we decided to give this a miss.
Source: Shutterstock
Along the way, the boys decided to emulate Ryu from Streetfighter.
All you can!
Before leaving the forest, we made a quick stop at the Nonmiya Shrine to take a peek.
Nonmiya Shrine

It is a small but popular shrine. You can leave your wishes to the shrine should you choose to do so.

As we had a long day ahead, we did not spend much time there and decided to head back to the station.

It was hard not to make a pit stop at the entrance where the street food are for a bite!
Street Food Kyoto

If you prefer to leave it to the experts for a tour, book a tour from Klook
They have a tour that combines Fushimi - Inari-Taisha, Kiyomizu-Dera, Kinkaku-Ji. Arashiyama on a trip. Departs from Osaka

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Getting there
Saga-Arashiyama Station ( San-In Line) to Kyoto Station
Kyoto Station (Nara Line) to Inari Station

Fushimi Inari Shrine, Street Food

Fushimi Inari Shrine

Our next stop is the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The shrine was voted as Tripadvisor Number one attraction in Kyoto. They even had a banner to proclaim that. It was a must to include this on our day trip to Kyoto. The shrine is located at the base of Mount Inari,

Along the way, you would probably spot many kimono-clad locals and tourist alike. It seems like the perfect spot for a day out in kimono.

We did the normal ritual for temple visit and started to explore the surroundings.

If you look around, you can spot several fox structures in Fushimi Inari. The foxes are regarded as messengers and some have items in their mouth too.
Fox  @ Fushimi Inari

You can also leave your wishes at the shrine with these mini Torri gates,

Speaking about Torri Gates, there are more than 10,000 Torri gates in Fushimi Inaria that lined the main path up the 233 metres tall mountain.

When the boys heard about that, they were hesitant to take the hike up. After all, it will probably take 2 hours to head up the flight of stairs lined with Torri Gates. If you do not know, the Torri Gates were donated by business and individuals.

Unlike the photos you see on the internet where the space between the Torri gates are empty and the path serene, it was filled with tourists and locals alike when we were there.

We did manage to find pockets of empty path to take a decent photo.
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Your best bet for a nice photo will be the exit ( There are two paths leading up and down the mountains) You need not travel far, exit at the first part and head the other way.

We managed to snap a few decent shots at that venue.
As for those internet shots without crowds... here is one of them to add to the collection.
Torri Gates
If you choose to take the hike, there are plenty to explore along the way.

There are also mini shrines along the way. We did not reach the peak so we are not quite sure what to expect. We do know you are able to have a good view of the city from the top of the mountain.

After a short hike, it was time to head to our next destination.
Bye Fushimi Inari
If you are looking for souvenirs, we think these mini Torri gates would make a decent gift. Grab a few and you would have your own mini Fushimi Inari.

Before you head out, you might want to explore the food street next to Fushimi Inari. It has the best looking street food we had seen during our trip to Japan.

The Yakitori is a must try!

With so much food, how could you resist a bite?

Our stomachs cannot wait anymore as we picked a few choice dishes to savour.

Time to head out to our next destination... not before we decided to be part of Trainspotting cast.

Nishiki Market
Getting there
Fushimi Inari Station ( Keihan Main Line) - Gion-Shijo Station
Kamo River, Nishiki Market
Kamo River

The next destination is the Nishiki Market. It was an easy direct train ride from Fushimi Inari. You do have to walk about 1 km to the market, but you will be rewarded with a view of the beautiful Kamo River.
Kamo River
If you have time, you can even hear to the banks to see the resident ducks.

After about 20 minutes, we reached Nishiki Market
Nishiki Market

Nishiki market is a narrow five-block shopping street that has more than one hundred shops and restaurants on either side.
Nishiki Market
Known as Kyoto Kitchen, this market has plenty of fresh ingredients sourced by locals to produce your traditional Japanese dish. The first shop opened back in 1310 and the market itself is over 400 years old!

The food option are a bit more exotic and not your normal street food fare. Plenty of seafood can be found there.

We do have a special mission... to find the mini Octopus with an egg inside. We can safely say... Mission accomplished!

If you are looking more at the historical site, you might want to detour to Kiyomizu -Dera temple instead. Exit from the same station walked through the historic Higashiyama district that is lined with traditional old Kyoto buildings to reach the temple.

Want to see more of Kyoto?

You might want to spend an extra day or two here.
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Dylan Tan said...

Hi there

I'm so glad to have chanced upon this post. Will be reading a making notes to make sure I get the directions to the forest correctly since i will be lugging two old folks and a kid there on my own. Keep it up ! :)

TWD said...

Have a safe trip!