fun things to do with kids west kyoto japan   Travel for Kids
  | Kinki | Kyoto

Kyoto – West

  Sagano Doll Museum (Saga Toriimoto, Ukyo-ku) – Dolls are not just playthings for girls in Japan. March 3rd, is the Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri), where families display their collection of historical dolls. The dolls, representing the imperial family, are dressed in gorgeous costumes, and accompanied with miniature kitchens. The Doll Museum has a huge collection of elegant Saga dolls, cute chubby Gosho dolls, pint size Kamo dolls, and mechanical toys.

Arashiyama Park – Spend the day in the country. Arashiyama Park is a public park along the Katsura River, crossed by the Togetsu-kyo bridge. The "bridge that leads to the moon" might seem strange with cars on it, but you'll recognize it Japanese woodcuts. In May, the bridge is the site of the Mifune Matsuri boat festival with period costumes. It's beautiful scenery at any time of year. Bring a picnic lunch.

    Cormorant fishing (Arashiyama) – Traditionally, cormorants were used to catch river fish, and you can still see this amazing technique. Around dusk, your wooden "viewing" boat leaves the dock on the river. The ukai fishing boats are manned with three people – one to pole the boat, one to spot the fish, and one holding the cormorants on a leash. It's an unforgettable experience to watch the cormorants dive for fish, the darkness illuminated by burning logs to light the river. You can watch cormorant fishing in July and August, and it's an outing for kids who can swim.
    Arashiyama Monkey Park (Iwatayama) – This mountain is populated with tons of macaque monkeys. Watch mothers grooming their babies, other monkeys rushing up to greet the tourists. Don't feed the monkeys out in the park. There is a special "refreshment hut" where you can feed the monkeys bananas or peanuts through wire-mesh windows.

Hozu River Trip – Take a two hour boat ride down the Hozu River, from Kameoka to Arashiyama. The wide lazy river flows through wooded mountains, under bridges, with a little bit of white water for excitement. (To get to Kameoka city, take the JR Sagano line, or take the Sagano Trolly Train (March - Dec.) from Saga Station.)

travel for kids | japan | kinki | kyoto | west kyoto
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