Riding the Sagano Scenic Railway, Kyoto’s romantic train

Western Kyoto has long been known for its natural beauty. In fact, the Arashiyama district has been a favorite of tourists for well over 1,000 years. The beauty of this region peaks twice a year, first during the cherry blossom season, and later during the time of autumn color.

The Sagano Scenic Railway is a wonderful way to tour and enjoy the natural beauty of this rural region. The train has come to be known as the Sagano Torokko, or Romantic Train, because its passage takes guests sightseeing through such romantic scenery. If you’ve seen enough of the city, one of these day trips from Kyoto will bring a smile to your face.

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Things to do in Kyoto: travel guide

Many travellers ask us: what to do in Kyoto? If you are visiting Japan for a week, three days in Tokyo and three days in Kyoto are perfect to explore the two great capitals of Japan: the ancient and the modern one.

Following is a pleasant 3-day Kyoto travel guide, with ideas about what to see, where to go and how to use your Japan Rail Pass to move through the city, its temples, gardens, and geisha alleys. Let us begin!

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Mount Koya day trip, temple stay and itineraries

Located in the heavily forested Wakayama mountains, Mount Koyasan is an important religious destination in Kansai, as well as a popular tourist attraction.

The cradle of Shingon Buddhism, it offers over 100 temples and pagodas to explore, as well as the mysterious Okunoin cemetery, where spirits are said to roam. Perfect for a day trip, visitors also have the option to stay overnight in a temple lodging.

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The JR Yamanote line: Getting around Tokyo

The JR Yamanote line is probably the most popular and convenient way for getting around Tokyo. Japan Rail Pass holders can take advantage of the line for free. Taking any train on the Yamanote line is fully included in the JR Pass.

Furthermore, this is the only line that connects all of Tokyo’s most famous central stations such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ueno and Tokyo Station.  The line is 34,5 km (21,44 miles) long. Read on for our complete guide about it.

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Best day trips from Kyoto by train

Kyoto is located right in the center of the historical Kansai region in Japan. This historical capital is the cultural soul of the country and one of the places where the roots of the Japanese nation stem from.

Whether you have planned to go east or west, north or south – make sure to save some time and travel around the Kansai region, easily accessible with the JR bullet trains. It is the one area filled with more heritage than anyone else in Japan.

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