Ohara is a tranquil rural village in the mountains north of Kyoto, about an hour (20 kilometers) from Kyoto Station by bus. In addition to several fine temples, the village is perfect for leisurely strolling.
Autumn Foliage at San’zen’in in Ohara © tadashiokoshi
Ohara Area Description:
Sandwiched between the Hira-san-kei Mountains to the east and the Kitayama Mountains to the west, Ohara is a lovely valley that retains some of the rural charm that many visitors to Japan seek. The highlight is the superb Sanzen-in Temple, but there are also several smaller temples scattered about.
Things To Do And See in Ohara
- Sanzen-in Temple
Sanzen-in is easily one of the best daytrips out of Kyoto – a superb collection of Buddhist images hidden up in the hills north of the city
Ohara’s second major attraction is the intimate temple of Jakko-in, which is reached by an impossibly scenic walk through the traditional village of Ohara
Places To Stay In Ohara
- There are a couple of onsen (hot spring) hotels in Ohara – see either Booking.com or Agoda.com for more details and a location map
Getting to Ohara
- By bus from Kyoto Station: Take Kyoto bus #17 or #18 (one hour, Y580). Note, board a tan Kyoto bus, not a green Kyoto city bus.
- By bus from Sanjo-Keihan Station: Take Kyoto bus #16 or #17 (45 minutes, Y470). Note, board a tan Kyoto bus, not a green Kyoto city bus.
Kyoto Vacation Checklist
- For all the essentials in a brief overview, see my First Time In Kyoto guide
- Check Kyoto accommodation availability on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
- Need tips on where to stay? See my one page guide Where To Stay In Kyoto
- See my comprehensive Packing List For Japan
- Buy a data-only SIM card online for collection when you arrive at Kansai International Airport (for Osaka and Kyoto) or Tokyo's Narita Airport. Or rent an unlimited data pocket wifi router.
- Compare Japan flight prices and timings to find the best deals
- If you're visiting more than one city, save a ton of money with a Japan Rail Pass - here's my explanation of why it's worth it
- Get travel insurance for Japan - we recommend World Nomads (and here's why)