Mt. Kurama

Attraction Mt Kurama Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Japan Published on: 23-04-2019

2 hours
09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
09:30 AM
11:30 AM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
2.00 USD

Mt. Kurama is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior No
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
Mt.Karama is of course famous moutain in Kyoto, it is also believed to one place where tengu live (the big-nosed half-bird, half-human creatures).

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Why Mt. Kurama is special ?

Mt.Karama is of course famous moutain in Kyoto, it is also believed to one place where tengu live (the big-nosed half-bird, half-human creatures).

One of the biggest draws to Kurama, though, is its nature. The forest is very serene and absolutely gorgeous in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. Along the trail you'll find a small waterfall, a bridge, and a bamboo grove. One of the highlights is actually a section near Kibune where there are trees that have many of their roots showing above ground. It's interesting and has become one of the trail's most famous parts.

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What to explore at Mt. Kurama?

Mt.Kurama is the northern mountain of Kyoto City, less than one hour from the city center. Kurama is best known for its temple Kurama-dera and its hot spring, one of the most easily accessible hot springs from Kyoto.

Kurama Temple was founded in 770, by a Monk from Nara's Toushoudai-ji, who was led to an area below the summit by a white horse.After seeing a vision of the deity Bishamon-ten, guardian of the northern quarter of the Buddhist heaven, he established Kurama-dera on that site. The original buildings, however, have been repeatedly destroyed by fire, and the Main Hall was last rebuilt in 1971.

Outdoor and indoor baths can be enjoyed at Kurama Onsen (hot spring), a ryokan located at the upper end of the town of Kurama. It can be reached in a 10 minute walk from the train station along the town's only road or along a nature trail following the river.

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How to get to Mt. Kurama?

Kurama is connected with central Kyoto by Eizan Railway. The one way trip along the Eizan Kurama Line from Demachi-Yanagi Station to Kurama Station takes 30 minutes and costs JPY.420 ($3.5) . Trains depart every 15-20 minutes.

The fastest way to reach Demachi-Yanagi Station from Kyoto Station is by taking the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station (JPY.140 - $.1 ,2 minutes), where you can transfer to the Keihan Main Line to Demachi-Yanagi Station (JPY.270 - $2.3, 10 minutes)

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Selling points

  • Spiritual countryside hiking trail!
  • Pleasant hike through an enchanting forest
  • One temple worth seeing - Buddhist shrine from 770AD
  • A great little outing for a "mountain" experience, with temples!
  • Enjoyable hiking in beautiful scenery
4 Days 3 Nights in Kyoto

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4.0 days
181.16 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
20 places




Mt Kurama Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture Japan

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Tips for you

  • There are two ways to go top : you can take the local densha to get to Kurama or take the cable car up and start your hike with a leg up Cable car ascent: 8.30 am to 5.30 pm (JPY.100) ($1) If you go from Kibune to Kurama it's much harder as there is no cable car and the zigzag hike up is much more steep right off the bat.
  • When you go into the temple, Kurama-dera, you should not miss the opportuinity to visit the crypt type place downstairs. There are stairs at both ends of the temple,
    Things to do
  • Coming from Kurama, the hike up is pretty well paved and there are secure, well defined stairs. You will see all different types of temples along the way.
    What to see
  • If you arrive in Kibune, we can find the restaurants over the river/water walls so you can enjoy your meal in a cool alfresco seating area over the rivers
  • You should wear a good pair of walking shoes, or even light hiking boots
    What to wear
  • The air is clean and clear and as you climb higher up the mountain, you leave the mechanized world behind in favor of the songs of many birds and frogs
  • Treasure house is closed from mid December to February
  • There are also hotels along this road for those who want to extend their experience in the mountains
  • Along the ascent to Kurama-dera stands Yuki Jinja, a shrine famous for its Fire Festival (Kurama Hi Matsuri), held annually on October 22


TripAdvisor View more

Kurama and Kibune are small towns in the hills north of Kyoto & excellent for a short day hike. It is just 30mins ride on the Eizan line from Demachiyagi Station, and about 1 hr all-in starting from (say) Gojo. the hill is only 266m and the hike distance is about 2.6km and can be comfortably completed in 1.5hrs (though in our case we took 2 full hrs). we took the subway to Keihan Sanjo station and changed to Keihan line to Demachiyanagi station & hop on the Eizan line for a 30mins journey to Kurama. the train carriage had a few rows of seats facing out the windows. we could see momiji (maple trees) right by the window as the train passed. one needed only imagine how it would be like during autumn koyo (falling leaves) time. At Kurama station there was a poster of the Eizan train driving through the myriad of autumn colours. we started the hike from Kurama side. there was a 200yen entry fee (爱山费) at Niomen (仁王门) head of the trail from Kurama side. we did not take the cable car which was just a very short ride & cost 100yen. the entire hike was largely shaded even though it was a hot day. we were armed with the usual bottled tea from the vending machine, liquids were something important to have. the hike was really pleasant with some steeper slopes and stairs, though it was a bit tiring for my sis. there were lots of maple of course (but we already knew that the best time for visiting Japan were during autumn and sakura, so we could only imagine the autumn colours but it was expected and ok). there were lots of giant cedar trees. we reached Kuramadera, the main temple. we reached the top. there was clear direction signs with distances to Kurama & Kibune. the stretch of cedar woods (with rows & rows ramrod straight cedar trees) was impressive. we reached Kibune about 3.11pm (Japan Time – camera is set to Singapore time), about 2 hrs after we started. we climbed up to Kibune Jingu (贵船神社). surprise surprise they had free wifi…useful if unusual. Kibune is also popular for its kawadoko dining, where you sit on some floormat platforms secured over the flowing river beneath and watch the rapids & falls. some say the temperature can be up to 5degC cooler than ambient. there is also the nagashi-sōmen (流しそうめん flowing noodles) where you try to catch somen flowing really quickly down a bamboo pipe & dip in sauces like you eat cold soba. while we were walking along Kibune river side where all these restaurants were located, there were hardly any customers. perhaps this was not the season & the costs was quite high. anyway we walked along the Kibune road by the river and came upon a bus station where we paid 160yen each and got to Kibuneguchi station to catch the Eizan train back to Kyoto.

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