A perfect half-day trip to take from Kyoto to get out in to nature. The Kurama to Kibune hike is a beautiful mountain trial that starts in one of the small towns, goes up the mountain and down to the other. All along the way there are plethora of shrines, lookout points and temples to stop and explore, as well as both the towns themselves. the hike has a steep ascend on either side but shouldn’t take you more than 1.5 hours to finish.
We recommend starting at Kurama instead of Kibune as most hikers do. The incline is much more gentle at this end, there are less people hiking in this direction, there is a beautiful onsen close to Kibune that you can soak in after the hike, and it is the first stop on the return journey which means guaranteed seats on the train home.
Checkout the Kurama Shrine before the start of the hike. It’s a bit past the hike start point, but a nice pagoda with good picture opportunities.
Japans public transport system is incredible and the combination of trains and busses will get you to Kurama town in just about an hour from downtown Kyoto.
Thanks to Asta Vaitekoniene for the video journey!
What I liked Most
Temple shrines and pagodas all along the route
How did you get there?
Public Transport is the easiest option. To get to the start of the hike at Kurama, jump on the train system and head to Kibuneguchi station (630 YEN one way). Once you get off you'll see a small bus (160 YEN) that will take you up to Kurama town where you'll walk a few minutes up the hill before you see the start of the hike on the right hand side (over the bridge you'll see a ticket booth). Japan's public transport system is incredible and you'll be there within the hour.
- Just after the exit at the Kibune side, there is a vegetarian ramen restaurant on the left side. Try the hot vege ramen - pricey at $10 USD but delicious!
- The hike is short, but there are no shops or stalls along the way, so bring a water bottle and snacks with you.
- There is a popular Onsen located close to Kibune that you can walk to. Check it out if you have time!
- in summer restaurant over the water
Cost to get in 300 YEN (About $3 USD). There will be a ticket booth at either entrance. At Kurama you'll see it across the small bridge on your right as you walk through the town