8 Best Hiking Places in Kyoto for Families

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Written by Wendy Tucker

Apart from visiting Kyoto, it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the rich history of the ancient capital, you can discover much more. This primarily refers to the mountain range on three sides. . We can say that Kyoto is a paradise for hikers. This is an opportunity to explore interesting trails if you are a nature lover and if you are a little tired of watching temple after temple. There are several best hiking places that you can visit even with your family.

So the number of possibilities is unlimited. This way you will be able to provide your family with a lot of fun opportunities outdoors. That way, your children will see something else next to beautiful temples and sanctuaries. Below we have selected for you some of the most popular hiking places for Family.

1. Mt. Daimonji-yama Climb

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It is a short hike and it is great news for all those who do not like to walk for a long time. Best of all is the view you will enjoy when you get to the location. You will only need an hour for this round trip. The road is not difficult to bear. However, know that the ascent is quite steep, which is interrupted by flat parts where you will enjoy the rest of the walk.

Even if you get rainy or windy days, you can hide under a metal roof at a small shrine to the Japanese Buddhist Saint Kobo Daishi. It is located in the middle of the viewpoint. If this is too little for you, you can continue up the stairs that climb to the top of the Dai character and in less than half an hour you are at the top of Mt. Daimonji-Yama. Otherwise, you return the same path you came.

2. Fushimi Inari Shrine

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This shrine is dedicated to the Shinto god of rice. However, it is not only an ordinary shrine but also one of the most visited places in Kyoto. Your family will be delighted with this experience when they pass by the brilliant orange and black torii on Mount Inari. It is located at the southern end of the city. While some tourists just go through a few tens of meters of the tunnel, take pictures and come back, others enjoy the whole experience. If you walk all the way you can see and try a lot. You won’t need much time for that, because you will walk for a maximum of 3 hours.

3. Shogunzuka and Seiryuden Hike from Chion-in Temple

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This is one of the easiest hikes in Kyoto City and offers one of the most beautiful views you will experience. You won’t need much time for this for about two hours. That is why it is a great opportunity to visit this place with your family. Once you get to the location, you will have the opportunity to see absolutely the whole city. The only problem you may encounter while hiking is the steep climb, but after that it is easy.

4. Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Pilgrimage Circuit

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If you enjoy easy hiking in the hills around Kyoto then this is a great choice. That way you won’t spend a lot of energy, but neither will time. On the other hand, you will pass Shinto shrine gates and many shrines. You will also enjoy the view across all of southern Kyoto. You may have to climb a few steps, but start slowly and it won’t be too much for you.

The entire walk will take you a maximum of three hours. Keep in mind that this is one of the most popular locations in Kyoto. In that case, prepare for the crowd, because sometimes there can be a lot of people around the main hall and the lower trails. If this disturbs your peace, simply leave on a weekday early in the morning. So you will be among the first.

5. Kurama to Kibune Hike

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Temples, shrines, and plenty of greenery are waiting for you. You will need around three hours of walking to explore this location. This is the perfect opportunity to combine culture and nature. It is located in the hills north of Kyoto. To start the hike, you need to get on the train. Therefore we recommend you to choose accommodation near Kyoto Station. In addition to being convincing to catch a train to any location, travel experts from Asiana Circus also told us that it is one of the best parts of the city to stay.

6. Daigo-ji temple hike

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Daigo-ji is the main temple of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temples stretch all over Mount Daigoyama. They are connected by a footpath. The scene is really beautiful all year round regardless of the season. However, tourists like this location the most during the fall and spring. The path begins at the back of the main temple area. It is a bit steep, it takes you past the waterfall and the part that represents Shimo Daigo. After that you climb to the top or Kami Daigo. Right at the top is the view that makes the whole walk make sense.

7. Ginkaku-ji Temple and The Philosopher’s Path

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We present you another short family adventure that will last approximately half an hour. Here you can see some amazing things like sculputed cone of sand. It symbolizes Mount Fuji. What is magical about it is that every grain of sand is in its place! A lot of people claim that they felt very comfortable in this place thanks to the beautiful gardens. You will see them as you walk along the path that goes into the mountain-side forest.

8. Philosopher’s Path

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This hiking trail got its name thanks to Nishida Kitaro. He used it for meditation every time he passed there on the way to work. The view is really beautiful, and it includes famous cherry trees. However, nothing is less beautiful during autumn, when the colors are pronounced. It’s a shame to miss this trail while you’re in Kyoto. It is a great place for the family also because it is full of benches. This way you can always stop and feed the baby. It is not recommended to carry a wheelchair during walking, because the path is mostly covered with steps. There is an adjacent path that is flat, but it will not give you the same feeling that everyone comes to Philosopher’s Path.


So, you can explore the trails in Kyoto at any time of the year and you don’t need hiking boots for that. This way you can embark on great walks that don’t have to be long. That’s why this is the perfect location for families. We hope we’ve helped you find out some useful information.


Wendy Tucker


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