“The area of Kurama in Japan has a lot of spiritual history: it’s the birth place of Reiki and filled with mythical legends about animals and holy spirits. But most of all it’s just really beautiful and a great (half)day trip from Kyoto. So spiritual or not, you must definitely hike up to Mount Kurama to see the beautiful view and temples. Afterwards you can relax and ease your tired bones at the Kurama Onsen, a Japanese spa.”
Tired of the hustle and bustle in Kyoto? Kurama is a small mountain village located just 30 minutes away. It’s mostly known for the temple Kurama-dera and the hot spring. The best way to truly enjoy Kurama is to combine a visit to these two, specially when you’ve hiked the mountain trail.
In Kyoto you have to take a train by Eizan Railway to Kurama station. Entering the village you will see the temple quite soon. Behind the temple starts the hiking trail that leads to Kibune, a teeny tiny village. This hike will take at least 2 hours as it is not long but it is quite steep – the mountain is 584 meters high. On your way you’ll encounter a lot of shrines, temples, crazy shaped wisteria trees and beautiful cedar trees. You definitely need at least a half a day to enjoy the most of this hiking trail and take in the beautiful views. Afraid of getting thirsty? Don’t be! As this is Japan the temple of course has a vending machine. But do pack a bottle of water to be sure anyway, specially when it’s hot outside.
Want to go to the spa afterwards? You can also hike the trail in reverse. Get off the train at Kibune-guchi Station and start your journey there. The onsen is just a short walk away from the Kurama-Dera temple. Perfect place to relax after a tiring hike!