Oh my gosh! Arashiyama, you have me all heart-eyed emojis over you. This was the first place my family and I visited outside of Tokyo and it did not disappoint.
We decided to visit Arashiyama because we wanted a traditional Japanese hot spring experience and my Younger Sister found this amazing hotel for us to stay at with 24hr hot spring baths! But more on that later. Since check-in was in the afternoon, the hotel let us leave our luggage with them while we went out exploring. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and made the whole town look picture perfect.
It was brunch time, so we wandered the street in search of food and found a tiny restaurant to settle into. The Parents ordered a beef udon each, while my Younger Sister and I (wanting to get the most out of their menu) shared a tofu udon, as well as matcha and some mochi with kinako (roasted soy bean flour). So good!
After having filled our bellies, we continued to explore Arashiyama. We walked over Togetsukyo Bridge and along the river towards Arashiyama Park.
We wandered through the park and eventually made our way to the lookout point at the top. The view was amazing. There’s something magical about mountain-sides covered in lush green trees and pops of pastel pink cherry blossoms. So pretty.
We then made our way to the Bamboo Forest and wandered through. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place, but it’s packed full of tourists (like me).
After walking through the Bamboo Forest, we somehow found ourselves back in town. We walked down the main street and back towards our hotel, checking out the shops for snacks and trinkets on the way.
I know I keep saying it, but this little town of Arashiyama is just so beautiful. However, let’s not forget why we were here: the Arashiyama Hot Spring Hotel (京都 嵐山温泉 花伝抄). It’s located right next to Arashiyama Station and has a very simple looking entrance, but once you step through it’s like stepping into a private retreat.
I could probably write an entire post about our stay at the Arashiyama Hot Spring Hotel, but I’ll spare you the babble. What you need to know is that it’s a very traditional-looking hot spring hotel with great service (our luggage was already in our room when we arrived for check-in!). We stayed in one room for one night with a 9-course dinner in a private booth and a buffet breakfast the next morning. The food was sooo yummy. And of course, those hot spring baths! Oh wow! I enjoyed every minute soaking in that outdoor hot spring. It was so relaxing and comforting and my skin was amazingly smooth afterwards. The whole experience set us back ¥116,000 but I think it’s totally worth it!
Honestly, if I ever travel to Japan again, I would definitely detour from wherever just to come back to Arashiyama to explore and stay at this hot spring hotel again.