Best time to visit Kyoto

Hiking in Kyoto

Marvellous mountains, hills, crystal blue lakes, rivers and waterfalls, multiple spiritual temples and shrines—all of this awaits you in the Kyoto area

Best time: March–May | September–November


Kyoto is surrounded by spectacular mountains on three sides, making the city a real paradise for hikers. Short half-day and full-day hikes are a great way to get acquainted with the area.

You can try the easy hike to Mt. Daimonji, which will give you the possibility to enjoy excellent views over Kyoto.

Walk to Mt. Inari-san and explore the pilgrimage circle around the shrines. This walk is considered to be one of the most pleasant short hikes around Kyoto. On your way, you will see the prominent Fushimi Inari-Taisha temple.

You can also choose an easy half-day hike through tranquil rural villages from Kurama to Kibune. During your walk, you will discover many beautiful temples, shrines, tiny villages, cedar forests and picturesque mountains. Alternatively, you can choose a more challenging hike from Takao to Hozukyo, which will last around six hours. During your trek, you will enjoy two superb temples, marvellous waterfalls, and the crystal-clear Kiyotaki-gawa River. Mt. Atago is also a popular hiking spot. There are many routes up and down, with one of the best path running from Mt. Atago to Kiyotaki.

The list of Kyoto's best hiking trails is truly endless, and each hike promises eye-popping views! Hiking in Kyoto is available all year round, and the peak season is summer when most tourists visit the city. However, the very best time is from March until May and from September until November. The weather is suitable for hikers during these time periods as it is not as hot and rainy as the summer months. Winter hiking can be fairly challenging due to cold weather conditions. Spring is also loved for impressive sakura blooms and autumn—for its colourful foliage.

Practical info

When is the best time to go hiking in Kyoto?

Although Kyoto offers year-round hiking opportunities, the preferable time to go hiking is from March to May and September to November due to the pleasant weather conditions. It is better to plan for winter hiking also during the colder months. Since hiking is a physical activity, it's crucial to consider the weather before making any hiking arrangements. Show more

Where can I find the best views of Kyoto during a hike?

Mt. Daimonji is a great option for those who want to witness the spectacular beauty of Kyoto during the hike. The hike is effortless and not very long, making it a popular choice among tourists. Another popular hiking trail is from Takao to Hozukyo, which offers a beautiful view of temples alongside some stunning waterfalls. Lastly, the Kurama to Kibune village hike is also a great option for some refreshing and scenic walks. Show more

What are the easiest hiking trails to explore without a guide in Kyoto?

Kyoto features several easy hiking trails to enjoy without a guide. Visitors can simply walk up to Inari-san and see the stunning pilgrimage circle. Another option is the half-day hike for fresh rural views between Kurama and Kibune. Lastly, the hike to Mt. Daimonji is one of the popular choices for tourists to relax and admire the serene beauty of the city. Show more

How long should I plan for a half-day hike in Kyoto?

The duration of a half-day hike varies and depends on the route chosen and the hiker's pace. The average time for a hike is approximately three to four hours, including taking photos or making stops. The Kurama to Kibune or Takao to Hozukyo hikes are two popular half-day hikes, and hikers should plan to spend at least three hours to enjoy these routes fully. Show more

Are there any specific tips or precautions that should be followed while hiking in Kyoto?

While hiking in Kyoto, proper preparation such as knowledge about the route and bringing appropriate supplies like water, sunscreen, snacks, rain gear, and suitable dressing are crucial. Visitors must avoid leaving any trash behind while sticking to the designated tracks during hiking. Also, they should keep their eyes open while spotting wildlife such as monkeys or snakes. Adhering to these precautions guarantees a safe and enjoyable hiking experience in Kyoto. Show more

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