OWL Magazine Korea

Kyoto Arashiyama Tourist Train “Torokko Train”

Kyoto is a vast area with various tourist attractions scattered around. Among them, notable areas include Kiyomizu-dera, Gion district, the region around Fushimi Inari Shrine, and especially the Arashiyama area.

Arashiyama stands out as a densely packed tourist destination, making it convenient for planning an efficient itinerary. The Torokko Train, a tourist train, along with the Bamboo Grove, Tenryuji Temple, Togetsukyo Bridge, and Monkey Park, are all within walking distance.

“Kyoto Arashiyama Tourist Train, Torokko Train”

For the second day of my Kyoto trip, I chose Arashiyama as my destination. The journey to Arashiyama was by train from Kyoto Station. I took the JR line to “Saga-Arashiyama Station.” Right next to it, you can find the “Torokko Saga Station,” where you can purchase tickets for the Torokko Train.

The Torokko Train used to be a small freight train transporting goods to areas inaccessible by trucks or regular trains. It operated at an average speed of about 25 km/h, slightly faster than a bicycle, using box-shaped cars to transport logistics.

However, it has been repurposed from a freight train to a tourist train. The Torokko Train traverses a gorge through which the Hozugawa River flows. Passengers can comfortably enjoy the natural scenery while riding the train. The train is designed in an open style, resembling a toy train, and it’s not too fast, allowing passengers to feel the cool breeze.

“Four Stops on the Torokko Train”

The Torokko Train has four stops: Saga Station, Arashiyama Station, Hozukyo Station, and Kameoka Station. Generally, travelers purchase a round-trip ticket, starting from Saga Station, arriving at Kameoka Station, and then returning. However, many passengers disembark at Arashiyama Station, as there is not much to see at Kameoka Station, the final destination of the Torokko Train.

“Operating Hours and Costs of the Torokko Train”

The one-way journey on the Torokko Train takes about 30 minutes, while the round trip takes about one hour. It’s common to buy a round-trip ticket, costing 1,760 yen for adults (880 yen for one way). The train operates approximately every hour. The first train departs from Saga Station at 10:02, and the last train departs at 16:02. Tickets can be reserved or purchased online, but they are also available at the ticket counter.

“Goblins on the Torokko Train?”

The Torokko Train was featured in a travel program called “Battle Trip.” At that time, a person in goblin makeup would board the train, interact with tourists, and create a lively atmosphere. However, during my recent trip, there were no goblins. Instead, the train conductor took the microphone and provided continuous explanations in Japanese.

“Torokko Kameoka Station – Torokko Arashiyama Station”

Our group also boarded the train after purchasing tickets. We chose the train departing at 11:02, planning to return five minutes later at Kameoka Station. Although the scheduled waiting time was five minutes, it took a bit longer due to passengers boarding and alighting.

The train departed in the opposite direction, passing through Arashiyama Station and Hozukyo Station. Until Hozukyo Station, we could enjoy the scenery from the left side of the train, and after Hozukyo Station, we could enjoy it from the right side. Fortunately, both sides of the train provided a good view, ensuring everyone had the opportunity to appreciate the scenery.

Typically, passengers who purchase a round-trip ticket board the train again at Kameoka Station and return to Saga Station. In such cases, if you ask to switch seats when buying tickets, you can enjoy the view from both sides. Our group, even though we didn’t specifically request it, was pleasantly surprised when the ticket booth staff proactively rearranged our seats, allowing us to enjoy views from both sides.

“Torokko Kameoka Station – Torokko Arashiyama Station”

After spending five minutes at Torokko Kameoka Station, the train departed again towards Torokko Saga Station. Although many people got off at Torokko Saga Station, there were quite a few who seemed to plan to spend time near Kameoka Station and then return later.

However, we had planned to return immediately and did not waste any time. Although the scheduled wait time was five minutes, it took longer due to boarding and alighting. The train departed in the opposite direction, providing a unique experience of enjoying the same scenic route from a different perspective.

“Japan Kyoto Arashiyama, Torokko Train”