map

Sagano Scenic Railway

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

11-1 Sagatenryūji Kurumamichichō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8373, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

JPY 650

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Buddy
Local tour guide
"During your ride on the Sagano Scenic Railway in Kyoto, make sure to sit on the right side of the train for the most breathtaking views of the Hozugawa River, especially picturesque during the autumn foliage season. Also, consider buying your tickets in advance as the scenic train can sell out quickly, especially on weekends and holidays."

What is Sagano Scenic Railway?

Imagine yourself gently rolling through a panorama of serene beauty, where time seems to stand still and the modern world fades away amidst a backdrop of lush mountains, winding rivers, and the soft clack of a train moving along its tracks. The Sagano Scenic Railway, known lovingly as the Sagano Torokko, is such a place. It is a nostalgic, sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka in Kyoto, Japan.

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
Phuket James Bond Island Longtail Boat Tour

Not many Phuket day trips can offer an excursion that's like a scene from a movie, but our Phuket James Bond Island Longtail Boat Tour fits the bill! This truly...

US$209/pp Learn more

This vintage railway offers a chance to revel in the natural splendors of the seasons - the tender greens of spring, the vibrant tapestry of autumn leaves, the silent beauty of winter snow, and the refreshing breezes of summer. The carriages, some with wooden bench seating and others with open sides, provide an unobstructed view of the surroundings, making it a popular attraction for those wanting to appreciate the serene Kyoto countryside from the comfort of a charming, old-fashioned train.

History of Sagano Scenic Railway

The history of the Sagano Scenic Railway is interwoven with Japan's rush to modernity and nostalgia for a slower-paced past. It was originally a section of the JR Sanin Main Line that opened to railway services in 1897, connecting the regions and serving the local community for over 90 years. However, with the development of a new, faster line in 1989, this portion was rendered obsolete for regular commuter trains and faced the threat of closure.

Yet the line's scenic beauty did not go unnoticed, and it soon embarked on a second life as a tourist attraction. Reopened in 1991, the Sagano Scenic Railway was repurposed to serve as a window to Kyoto's breathtaking natural landscape, preserving the heritage of the area and the slower, contemplative pace of travel that has become rare in our modern world. Since then, it has become a beloved part of Kyoto's cultural and tourism offerings, inviting visitors from around the world to journey through its historical and natural landscape.

Why is Sagano Scenic Railway Important?

The Sagano Scenic Railway is not merely a mode of transportation; it's a cultural artifact that enriches our understanding and appreciation of Kyoto's history and natural beauty. It serves as a physical reminder of the romance of train travel, a time when journeys were as much about the experience as the destination. For locals and visitors alike, it's a treasured escape, a way to reconnect with nature and Japan's cultural heritage.

Furthermore, it plays a significant role in the local economy, attracting tourists and bolstering the commerce in surrounding towns. It's a sustainable tourism initiative as well, preserving the natural landscape by offering an eco-friendlier form of sightseeing without the need for roads or vehicles in the scenic areas it traverses. Thus, the Sagano Scenic Railway is a bridge between history and modernity, nature and culture, economics and ecology.

Things to Do & See at Sagano Scenic Railway

The journey aboard the Sagano Scenic Railway itself is the primary attraction. With a roughly 7.3-kilometer ride that lasts about 25 minutes one way, passengers are treated to varying vistas such as the Hozugawa River Rapids, the forested ravines of Arashiyama, and numerous traditional buildings peeking through the trees. Each of the four stations along the route — Saga, Arashiyama, Hozukyo, and Kameoka — offers a slightly different perspective on the stunning valley.

In the spring, the cherry blossoms along the river create a delicate pink canopy, while autumn brings an explosion of red, orange, and yellow foliage. In the winter, snow often dusts the landscape, and in the summer, the lush greenery provides a refreshing retreat. You might also consider pairing your train ride with a return journey by boat down the Hozugawa River, offering yet another perspective on this picturesque area.

Our Top Trending Mexico Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Playa del Carmen Subterranean Adventure Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Cozumel Underwater Marvels Snorkeling Tour

    US$119/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Mexico City Hidden Arts Tour

    US$159/pp Learn more

Apart from the train ride, you're encouraged to explore the nearby towns. Arashiyama, the starting point for many, is famous for its bamboo groves, temples, and the iconic Togetsukyo Bridge. Kameoka, at the other end, is quaint and offers a glimpse into rural Japan, with opportunities for local cuisine and onsen visits. The Sagano Scenic Railway stands as more than just a train ride — it's an immersive gateway to discovering a treasured part of Kyoto's landscape and culture.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Sagano Scenic Railway?

The Sagano Scenic Railway, also known as the Sagano Romantic Train or the Sagano Torokko, is a sightseeing train line that runs along the Hozugawa River between Arashiyama and Kameoka, offering passengers stunning views of the surrounding natural scenery.

How long is the ride on the Sagano Scenic Railway?

The ride on the Sagano Scenic Railway is approximately 25 minutes long, covering a distance of about 7.3 kilometers.

What are the best times of year to ride the Sagano Scenic Railway?

The best times to ride the Sagano Scenic Railway are during the cherry blossom season in spring and the autumn foliage season, when the scenery along the river is particularly picturesque.

Are there any special trains or events associated with the Sagano Scenic Railway?

The Sagano Scenic Railway occasionally runs special themed trains, such as the 'tunnel of illumination' during the winter, and may host events that are aligned with seasonal changes or holidays.

How do I purchase tickets for the Sagano Scenic Railway?

Tickets for the Sagano Scenic Railway can be purchased at the ticket office at Saga-Arashiyama Station or Kameoka Station. It's advisable to buy tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

11-1 Sagatenryūji Kurumamichichō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8373, Japan

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

JPY 650

Find it on google maps