Kurama is a rural town in the northern mountains of Kyoto City, less than one hour from the city center.

Kurama is best known for its temple Kurama-dera and its hot spring, one of the most easily accessible hot springs from Kyoto.

Outdoor and indoor baths can be enjoyed at Kurama Onsen, a ryokan located at the upper end of the town of Kurama. It can be reached in a 10 minute walk from the train station along the town's only road or along a nature trail following the river.

Guests, who are staying at the ryokan, can use the baths for free, while daytrippers pay 2500 Yen per person to use all of them or 1100 Yen per person to use the outdoor pool (rotemburo) only.

Kurama's main attraction, Kurama-dera, is a Buddhist temple located in the wooded slopes above the town. From its main gate in the town's center, the main buildings can be reached in a 30-45 minute climb up the mountain. A cablecar (200 Yen one way) leads halfway up.

Along the ascent to Kurama-dera stands Yuki Jinja, a shrine famous for its Fire Festival (Kurama Hi Matsuri), held annually on October 22. Kurama-dera's main buildings stand on a terrace on the mountain's slope, overlooking the wooded valley.

Behind the temple's main building, the hiking trail continues through the forest past several other temple structures to Kibune, a small town in the neighboring valley. The hike from Kurama-dera to Kibune is steep at times and takes about one hour.

Kibune offers several ryokan and restaurants, which serve meals on terraces built along the river during the warmer months of the year. At Kibune Shrine you can obtain a unique type of omikuji (fortune telling paper slips) that displays your fortune after it has been dipped into the water.

How to get there

Kurama is connected with central Kyoto by Eizan Railway. The one way trip along the Eizan Kurama Line from Demachi-Yanagi Station to Kurama Station takes 30 minutes and costs 410 Yen. Trains depart every 15 to 20 minutes.

In order to access Kibune, get off at the second last station, Kibune-guchi Station, from where you can walk to Kibune along the road in about 20-30 minutes or take Kyoto Bus number 33 (5 minutes, 160 Yen).

The fastest way to reach Demachi-Yanagi Station from Kyoto Station is by taking the JR Nara Line to Tofukuji Station (140 Yen, 2 minutes), where you can transfer to the Keihan Main Line to Demachi-Yanagi Station (260 Yen, 10 minutes).
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