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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hiking Kiyotaki Kyoto

Along Kiyotaki River京都清滝のハイキング

Following the passing of the most recent typhoon, fall-like weather is finally upon us.

After months of brutal heat, it is time to get outdoors.

In Kyoto, hiking trails are a but a bus ride away.

One easy to get to, easy to hike trail is in the foothills of Mt. Atago.

Alighting from a bus stop on the winding that heads west out of Kyoto, passing Ninnaji Temple en route, it is a short walk down a slope to the Kiyotaki River.

At this point, it is possible to hike up to Jingoji Temple. This temple sits atop a hill with fabulous views. It is a 10-15 minute hike up stone steps to the temple.

For those who prefer to get straight to the temple, head past the inn on your right.

Follow the trail under it is possible to cross at a bridge. From then on the river will be on hikers' right.

The water of the river is clear. Within these waters lives a "living fossil": the Japanese giant salamander. This is the world's largest amphibian that inhabits these pristine waters, and they have not changed in 30 million years. The Japanese giant salamanders can measure as long as 1.5 meters in length.

The trail continues until the village of Kiyotaki, which is 3-4 kilometers of flat easy hiking. From there it is possible to catch a bus to Arashiyama.

Getting to the Starting Point for the Kiyotaki Trail

Take either the JR bus from Kyoto Station for Keihokucho or Kyoto City bus #8 to Takao. The Takao bus stop is about 15 minutes beyond Ninnaji Temple in western Kyoto.

From there, it is a 10 minute walk down to the river. At the bus stop, which is a curve on the winding road heading out of Kyoto are several small stores where you can buy drinks and snacks.

Jingoji Temple

5 Umegahata-Takao-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
Open everyday, 9 am - 4 pm

Tel: 075 861 1769

Entrance Fee: 500 yen

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