Ohara – the mysterious town in the north of Kyoto

Ohara

We all know that there is a place up in the north of Kyoto called Ohara.
But how many people actually made it to the town surrounded by forests and mountains?

Is this another amazing spot for travelers to avoid the crowds in Kyoto to experience the zen atmosphere? Yes, but not only that. You will also have great food options and nice little cafes to relax in. Ohara can get really busy around the the autumn foliage, but it is worth a visit every season.

Before starting to explore Ohara you need to get there. It is really not difficult, but not a short trip either.

20180718-09-09-00-ILCE-7RM3-FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM

From Guest House hachi simply take the JR Sagano Line from Umekoji Kyoto Nishi Station to Kyoto Station. Here you will have to transfer to the bus “Kyoto Bus 17” departing from Platform C3 heading to Ohara. The ride with bus #17 will take about 1 hour and will cost you 550 ¥ (one way).

The first bus leaving from Kyoto Station is at 8:03am. The last bus departing from Ohara to Kyoto Station is at 18:13pm.

Kyoto to Ohara           Ohara to Kyoto
8:03                              14:43
8:29                              15:13
8:48                              15:43
9:17                               16:13
9:42                              16:43
10:03                             17:13
10:33                             17:43
11:03                             18:13

Once you arrive after the long bus ride you might want to find some place to eat before exploring the town of Ohara.
Not far away from the bus stop you have Shino Shoumon and Kirin. Both locations are on opposite directions so you might want to choose which temple to see first and then decide on your breakfast option.
Shino Shoumon is popular for its Kyoto Vegetables and  open from 10:30am until 5pm. Also you should definitely check this place out if you are vegan.
Kirin is on the west side of the bus stop and offers a buffet selection of lots of vegetables and is open from 11:30am to 4pm (closed on Tuesday). Don’t miss this great riverside cafe.

After that head over to the temples you would like to visit.
You can divide Ohara into East and West of the Kannarisawa River.

Eastern Part of Ohara

Sanzen-in
opening hour: 8:30am – 5 (summer)
9am- 4:30pm (winter)
entrance fee: 700¥

大原三千院 / Ohara Sanzen-in

Hosen-in
opening hour: 9am – 5pm
entrance fee: 800¥
A fascinating garden with a 700 year old pine tree should not be missed.
A cup of tea and sweets are included in the entrance fee.

Hosen-in Temple 宝泉院

Jikko-in
opening hour: 9am – 5pm
entrance fee: 700¥
The garden is very famous for the autumn foliage.

Jikkō-in Temple

Head over to the Otonashi Waterfall and stop by at Gyozan Raigo-in to visit a temple deep in the forest.

Raigo-in Temple in Ohara

Western Part of Ohara

Jakko-in
opening hour: 9am – 5pm (summer)
9am – 4:30pm (winter)
entrance fee: 600¥
a small temple popular for autumn colors

    Jakko-in #33

Hanji: Perfect for udon and soba noodles served by the charming owner.

Cafe Apied: Great for cake & coffee in an old traditional townhouse.

Ohara Sansou Ashi Cafe: Have a cup of tea while enjoying a foot bath.

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