Arashiyama Kimono Forest Kyoto
Arashiyama Kimono Forest Kyoto is an art installation of 600 clear, acrylic cylinders with Kyo-yuzen kimono designs around Arashiyama Keifuku Randen Station.
Arashiyama Kimono Forest in Kyoto 嵐山キモノフォレスト
Some of the more than 30 traditional Kyo-Yuzen kimono fabric designs at the Arashiyama Kimono Forest
The Saga-Arashiyama area in the western part of Kyoto is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Japan.
With a wealth of attractions including World Heritage registered temples like Tenryuji, the Arashiyama Monkey Park, and boat trips on the river, a visit to the area can end up being a bit pricey. However, one the most visited sites, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, is actually free.
There is another "forest" in Arashiyama that is also free to explore and that is becoming popular with visitors, but though it will never rival the popularity of the Bamboo Forest, is worth seeking out if you have the time in your schedule.
Randen Arashiyama Tram Station, home of the Kimono ForestInside Arashiyama Randen Station the kimono pillars are illuminated
The Kimono Forest is an art installation around the Arashiyama terminal station of the Keifuku Randen Tram Line.
Kimono Forest is composed of 600 clear, acrylic cylinders standing 2 meters tall. Within each cylinder is an example of kimono fabric design.
There are a total of 32 different traditional Kyo-yuzen designs, Kyo-yuzen being the name for a style of fabric dyeing developed in Kyoto during the Edo Period.
The designer behind the installation, Yasumichi Morita, chose the designs and they were produced at a Kyoto fabric company Kamedatomi.
Ryu no Atago, the Dragon Pond, where wishes come true
The pillars are arranged throughout the station and grounds. Some are in the dark station interior and others spill out onto the platforms.
Most are alongside the tracks on either side of the station with the biggest part being to the south.
Here a long winding path leads through them and here you will find the Dragon Pond, a pool of water filled with coins thrown in by visitors like a wishing well.
In the middle of the water is a spherical ball of polished black stone engraved in gold with a depiction of a dragon.
The dragon has long been a good omen in Japanese culture and the station is right across from the entrance to Tenryuji Temple which mean "Heavenly Dragon Temple."
The station is home to a variety of small stores and a couple of cafes and coffee shops. It is a good place to take a break after walking around Arashiyama. On the central platform is a free foot bath, an ashiyu where you can sit and soak your tired feet.
The biggest part of the Kimono Forest is on the south side of the station
Kimono Forest & Arashiyama Access
20-2 Sagatenryuji, Tsukurimichi-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8384 Tel: 0758 73 2121
The Kimono Forest is open 24 hours a day, but the consensus seems to be that the best time to view it is after sunset when the internal lighting of the pillars make the colors richer and brighter. The illumination is turned off at 9 pm.
To get to Arashiyama take the JR San-in Line from Kyoto Station or Nijo Station to JR Saga-Arashiyama Station, the journey takes 12 minutes.
Alternatively take the Keifuku Arashiyama (Randen) Line from Shijo Omiya Station to Keifuku-Arashiyama Station (which is closer) and walk.
Hankyu Arashiyama Station (convenient if coming from Osaka) is south of the river. Cross Togetsukyo Bridge and turn left.
There are also city buses from Kyoto Station to Arashiyama - take bus #28. Alternatively bus #11 runs from Sanjo Keihan Station to Arashiyama and bus #71 from Daikakuji Temple in north west Kyoto to Arashiyama.
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