Uncover Kyoto's hidden gems in this 8 hour day trip from central Kyoto. Head to these “spiritual power spots” nestled into the natural beauty of the mountains, far away from crowds.
Upon ascending Mt. Kurama, you will find a wealth of magical temples, relaxing onsens and hiking paths through lush green cedar forests.Mt. Kurama is a very historical area, known for being the birthplace of reiki (a healing technique) and home to the tengu, Japanese folklore creatures said to be the protectors of the natural world.You will leisurely walk from Kurama to the quaint mountain village of Kibune, stopping to see various sights along the way.It is the perfect trip for those wishing to get out of the city and enjoy some easy hiking in the nature.
① 9:00 – Pickup from your hotel in Kyoto city
Your guide will meet you at your hotel and escort you to Kurama by the Eizan Railway.From there you will take a short 15 minute walk to Yuki Shrine.
② 10:30 - 10:50 - Yuki shrine
Yuki Shrine was actually built in central Kyoto, but in 940 AD was moved to Kurama to protect the area from mysterious evil.One of the highlights of this mountainous shrine is an 800-year-old cedar tree which towers over the shrine at 53m tall .
③ 11:15 – 12:00 - Kuramadera Honden Kondo
After exploring Yuki Shrine, you will meander though the forest on a pleasant 25 minute walk to the most famous shrine of the area – Kuramadera.Founded in the 8th century, Kuramadera is dedicated to the worship of mountains and nature, and has an incredible view over the surrounding mountain ranges, especially in Autumn.See how many long-nosed tengu (guardians of the mountain) you can spot.
④ 12:10 – 12:25 - Walk on Kinone-michi
From the main shrine, further walk into the forest to Kinonemichi (Tree Root Road).There, you'll find that the path becomes a sea of tree roots for you to traverse.The rooms are unable to grow underground due to the hardness of the surrounding sandstone, so instead grow upon the surface, allowing you to see something usually buried deep in the ground.
⑤ 12:25 - 12:35 - Okunoin Maoden
Nestled deep in the mountains is the Okunoin Maoden Temple. It is said to be where demons reign and has a very mysterious feeling about it.
⑥ 12:55 – 13:25 - Kifune Jinja Hongu
Kifune Shrine is considered a place for sailors to go to pray for luck on their voyages and is dedicated to the God of water and rain.There are places where you can drink the pure mountain water fresh from the source, and many little streams dotted around If you come in summer, expect to be charmed by the wildflowers, but it is no less stunning shrouded in autumn colors, or pure white snow.Be sure to try the mizuura mikuji (water fortune telling paper) which your guide can translate for you.
⑦ 13:30 – 14:30 - Lunch at a Kawadoko style restaurant in Kibune
Eat at a local "kawadoko" restaurant. Kawadoko is a Kyoto style of restaurant where the floor is built on the river so that customers can relax hearing the tinkling of the stream as they eat, and refresh feeling the cool air coming off the water.
⑧ 14:35 -15:00 - Kifune Jinja Okumiya
According to legend, a goddess traveled in a boat from Osaka all the way up the river into these mountains.This inner shrine of Kifune houses the boat it is said that she rode in.
⑨ 15:15 – 15:30 - Kifune Cosmetics & Gallery
Browse their products made from water drawn from the sacred springs of the Kibune area. They draw the water at the full moon, making it spiritually and energetically charged. They claim their products bring out the flawless skin that Japanese women are famous for by combining thousand-year-old Kyoto traditions with cutting edge technology.⑩
16:00 - Kibuneguchi station
Head to Kibuneguchi station for the trip back to Kyoto.⑪
17:00 – Drop off at your hotel in Kyoto city
• Immerse yourself in the clear mountain air and lush green of the Kyoto mountains
• Try a Kawadoko (eating on the river) style traditional restaurant
• Explore the grounds of the legendary Karumadera Temple
• Feel like you're in a fairytale on the Tree Root Road
• Have your fortune told by the magical waters of Kibune at the Kifune Jinja Hongu
• Please wear comfortable shoes as we will be walking on mountain paths.
• This tour is not suitable for baby strollers or wheelchairs.
• If you wish to change the tour time, please contact us.
• During the peak travel seasons of March, April, and October, please be aware that there will be an additional charge of 2,000 yen per person for the tour.
|Price||¥18,000 / person
¥36,000 for a private tour for 1 person
|Hours of availability||
• English speaking guide
• Food and drinks
Anna Dominique Thomas（US）★★★★★
Nice experience for foreigners and locals alike!
We booked the Mt. Kurama tour in Kyoto and highly recommend it. Michiko-san, our tour guide, met us at our hotel and we commuted to Mt. Kurama together. It was such a nice experience for foreigners and locals alike because Michiko-san was very knowledgeable of Japanese history and we learned a lot from her. She also speaks perfect English! We were lucky enough to see wild deer on our hike and it made our hike truly special. We will definitely book again!
Enjoy nature and traditions around Kyoto mountains with a delightful companion
Ms. Michiko Murayama, the tour guide, had a wonderful plan and I was looking very much forward walking around and exploring the natural and cultural beauty around Kyoto mountains. However, “the God of water” had the last say about it. Due to heavy rainfall in the day of the event, Michiko had to make changes to the itinerary and ensure safety. She suggested to visit only shrines that have easier access and had to cancel the much anticipated walk through the forest. With much regret about the cancellation, however, Michiko made the best effort to have a pleasant experience by organizing efficient transportation, reasonable access to shrines. Her inspiring attitude helped us deal with the poring rain and look at the positive as we enjoyed encounter with unusually colorful frog and fresh wild berry in the forest. We both laughed when I identified her as “juggling master” when she was holding both my umbrella, her umbrella and taking a picture at the same time. Due to the cancellation of significant portion of the tour there was remaining time and Michiko suggested to visit “The Home of 1000 Buddha’s”. Although, I have visited the site years ago, I appreciate visiting it again and with Michiko ‘s guidance and explanations I was able to comprehend deeper the beautiful national treasure. During the day Michiko and I had multiple interesting conversations and we enjoyed discussing similarities between different cultures. Michiko was very helpful and caring when managing the wet conditions. She was well prepared to offer much needed little towels. Although the Water God was not welcoming us that day, it was very pleasurable and enriching experience when spending time with Ms. Michiko Murayama. I highly recommend this tour and wish people to be able to enjoy the natural and cultural beauty in the mountains of Kyoto along side a wonderful companion as Ms. Michiko Murayama.
Read more about 1 Day Hiking Tour in the Mountains of Kyoto - https://www.viator.com/en-CA/tours/Kyoto/1-Day-Hiking-Tour-in-the-Mountains-of-Kyoto/d332-22178P67?mcid=56757
Enjoyable walking hike through beautiful scenery in Mount Kuruma. Great guided tour by Tomo. Both the guide agency and Tomo were flexible to modify the tour on the spot in response to my request.
Magical Mountains of Kyoto
Our guide Akari was so helpful and very knowledgeable of the history of Kibune-Kirama. Overall effort is a high - if you’re looking for a nice stroll in the park, this would be very difficult for you - consider another option. That being said, the views from the top is breathtaking. If you’re lucky enough to see these views in Autumn as our group did - even better!
I would like to emphasize how helpful Akari was during our tour, she is very considerate and ensuring everyone gets to the top as safe as possible. Not only did we all make it to the top and back safely, we receive much needed understanding of the rich culture and traditions of Japan. We are no longer bystanders traveling aimlessly, but a willing participant of this short but great journey.
Viewing the Fall colors of Kurama Mountain
Akari was the perfect host/guide for our hiking tour! She had an endless amount of energy and knowledge as the hike was challenging and the local history was extensive. The mountains of Kyoto was beautiful this time of year and we were blessed with fabulous weather as it rained the night before but not during our outing.
Akari was so kind and generous with her time that she even took us back to the city center of Kyoto to make sure we could get into a decent restaurant for dinner (we got rejected without a reservation numerous times). We thanked her for the pleasure of her company over a meal and she shared her knowledge of Osaka as that’s our next stop.
Thank you Akari and hope to keep in touch. Looking forward to seeing you the next time we visit Kyoto/Osaka!
Denise Wong （USA）★★★★★
Beautiful hike thru the fall colors. Lots of steps/stairs and elevation change.
Our guide, Akari, was well versed about the Kurama Hike area and it’s history. She also shared her passion for the natural beauty of the area.
Kuramadera Mountain Hike
Amazing knowledge of Kyoto and Japanese history. She helped our group learn about the different customs and rich traditions of the city. It was a time well spent and enjoyed every minute of our tour.
We had an amazing time with our tour guide Mizuho! She did an incredible job making us feel welcome and guiding us throughout the temples and shrines. We would love to tour with her in the future!
A journey through the mystical forest of Mt Kurama
The tour covers the areas of Mt Kurama and Kifune. There is a high vibrational energy around Mt Kurama and was incredible to visit the birthplace of Reiki. The guide for the November 4th tour was Akari and she provided good information on the history of the area, was attentive and answered the questions I had with a lot of detail. The lunch she recommend was one of the highlights of the tour. Go ahead and book the tour if you want to see and learn about Japan’s nature and the origins of Reiki energy!
Isai Vieyra Mena（USA）★★★★★
Beautiful Mountain Hike
Akari-san was the best! This Hiking Tour was absolutely gorgeous, and Akari taught me a lot about Mount Kurama's history. Akari introduced me to some local restaurants, and she shared lovely stories with us. She was wonderful! I recommend this tour to anyone that wants to see nature and learn about Japanese history.
Great historical hike
Beautiful nature and temples and shrines ! Great tour and tour lady ! Make sure have a good health and energy for all the stair way.
Great crash course in historic Japan
Meg was a great guide on our full day tour of Mt Kurama. She met us at our hotel a handled all transfers to the Mt and then helped us better understand much of the history and traditions. Much appreciated Megu.