A Day Trip to Arashiyama –Sagano Area of Kyoto by Sagano Romantic Train (嵯峨野観光鉄道)

Train travel is a great way for me to enjoy stunning scenery along the journey. In Japan, there are many types of sightseeing trains with special interior design. One of sightseeing train is Resort Train Echigo Toki Meki Resort Setsugekka where I mentioned in my previous article (feel free to view my articles).
1) Photo credit: japan-guide.com

Today I would like to introduce Sagano Romantic Train (aka Sagano Scenic Railway or Sagano Torokko). Old style steam train with attractive vivid color and impressionable design (as per attached photo 1). There have 5 enclosed cars with windows that can open and one is fully ‘open’ car. The 5th car has no cover by glass window, which means you can enjoy the ride with ‘open’ car with cozy wooden seats (as per attached photo 2). This is a good place for those who like taking photos with stunning scenery.
2) Photo credit: jrailpass.com

The train start from Torokko Sagano Station (as per attached photo 3) which is next to JR Saga Arashiyama Station and run along the Hozukyo River between Arashiyama and Kameoka. 7.3 kilometer journey takes about 25 minutes (one way), allow you to enjoy natural view of the scenery. This station has rest area where they sell foods to customers. In addition, they also has bicycle rental shop, 19th Century Hall (as per attached photo 4) and Diorama Kyoto Japan (as per attached photo 5) in this station. You can spend your time to visit historical locomotives and explore Saga and Arashiyama areas before your train arrive.
3) Photo credit: sharing-kyoto.com
4) Photo credit: tripadvisor.com
5) Photo credit: sagano-kanko.co.jp

It was a wonderful experience when I took this train last year.  It’s able to open my eyes when the train passed Hozukyo River due to the place full of cherry blossoms in spring season (as per attached photo 6). The flowers are so beautiful, just like the flowers passed by in front of me. I will plan to go again for viewing colorful autumn foliage in autumn season (as per attached photo 7). For those who like greenery of the fresh leaves, you have to come during summer time (as per attached photo 8). Please take note that the trains do not run in the winter (from December 30th to February 28th every year) and Wednesday (not include national holidays, during spring and summer vocation periods and autumn season). Train operates once every hour from 9am to 5pm.
6) Photo credit: goinjapanesque.com
7) Photo credit: goinjapanesque.com
8) Photo credit: goinjapanesque.com

Tickets sell out very fast during peak seasons such as holidays, thus, you can buy tickets in advance or plan to reach the station to buy same day tickets. You have to buy standing room tickets if no seats left. Tickets for ‘open’ car can only be bought the day of you departure on first come first served basis. You can buy tickets at Torokko Saga station or JR ticket offices in Kansai Region. One way or round trip tickets are available. However, there is no discount for round trip tickets. 
For round trip, you can take sightseeing train back to Arashiyama or 10-minute walk to nearby Umahori station to catch JR train return to Arashiyama (JR Sagano line) or Kyoto (JR Kyoto station). I recommend not to buy round trip tickets or return by JR train. You can extend your natural experience by taking a Hozugawa River Cruise return to Arashiyama for 120 minutes (as per attached photo 9). Bus connects the station to the departure point for the cruises. To make you easier, you can refer the direction as following photo (as per attached photo 10) and summary of ticket and timetable information.
9) Photo credit: karaksahotels.com
10) Photo credit: sagano-kanko.co.jp

By Sagano Romantic Train
9.00am to 5.00pm 
Starting time: Saga Torokko Station – 8.35am 
                                Arashiyama Torokko Station – 8.40am 
                                Kameoka Torokko Station – 8.50am 
Winter (December 30th to February 28th) and Wednesday (not include national holidays, during spring and summer vocation periods and autumn season). 
Ticket Available: 
Same day tickets:   
1)    Saga Torokko Station
2)    Arashiyama Torokko Station
3)    Kameoka Torokko Station 
Advance tickets: From 10.00am one month before of the day at:-
1)       JR Ticket Office of Kansai International Airport
2)       JR Ticket Office of JR Kyoto Airport
3)       Central Japan Travel Center (Chubu Centrair International Airport
4)       Kansai Tourist Information Center Daimaru Shinsaibashi
5)       Kansai Tourist Information Center Kyoto
Admission fee: 
One way between Torokko Saga to Torokko Kameoka stations. 
Adult: 620 yen 
Child: 310 yen 
By Hozugawa River Cruise
9.00am – 3.30pm (March 10th through November 30th - departures every hour) 
9.00am – 2.30pm (December 1st to 11th – departures every hour)
10.00am – 2.30pm (December 12nd to March 9th – departures every 90 minutes) 
Weekend and Holiday (Depart irregularly according to demand)
December 29th to January 4th, irregular maintenance days and bad weather. 
Ticket Available: 
Departure point (Reservation only for groups of 10 or more) 
Adult: 4100 yen 
Child: 2700 yen (ages 4-12) 
I like travel by train in Japan because there have 4 distinct seasons. Every season has different temperatures and climates. You can enjoy beautiful natural scenery from the train along the journey. I like the feeling of the fresh air and the wind blowing through my hair. The fresh air is free of charge. Haha. Why not plan a train trip to escape from busy life for a while. Let’s we take Sagano Romantic Train to start our adventure short journey. 
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Love Ally 

Sumi Ally C