Takao is located on the north side of Saga-Arashiyama and famous for one of Japan’s most beautiful autumn leaves. The Kiyotaki-gawa River flows through the mountains and the Kitayamasugi (Kitayama cedar trees) that stretch straight up to the sky and ancient temples with a history of one thousand years create an elegant atmosphere different from that of the central area of the city.
●Jingo-ji Temple in Takao
Jingo-ji Temple(the Shingon Sect of Buddhism) was built in the 8th century by WAKE no Kiyomaro who was Zoei no daibu (chief of the civil engineering work) for the construction of Heiankyo (the ancient capital of Japan in current Kyoto). It is famous for its autumn leaves which have attracted people for a thousand years. You can see that on a folding screen painted in the 14th century.
●Kozan-ji Temple in Togano
Kozan-ji Temple was built in the Nara period but restored by Priest Myoe in the 12th century. Its “Choju Jinbutsu Giga (caricatures of frolicking birds, animals and humans)”(national treasure) is said to be the origin of Japanese Manga and Anime and one of the most famous representative work of Japanese culture. It also has the oldest tea garden in Japan, where Priest Myoe planted and grew tea fruits brought over from Song dynasty China by Zen Priest Eisai. Tea picking is still held here in early May.
●Riverbed (“Kawayuka” in Kamo-gawa River/”Kawadoko” in Kifune or Takao) experience
You can enjoy beautiful clear streams and valley throughout the year. Kyo-ryori (local cuisine of Kyoto) with the fresh sound of running water and the breath of nature is absolutely delicious. Furthermore the light of the fireflies that appear from mid-June creates a fantasy atmosphere.
●Kawarake Nage (Pottery Throwing)
Kawarake Nage is to throw an unglazed pottery from a high place wishing protection from evil spirits and said to be originated in this area. It is refreshing to throw a pottery toward the valley with a wish just like throwing a frisbee.
●Momijichan Matsuri (Maple leaves Festival)
This is an annual event held in around November for about a month in Takao. There are many fun events such as a photo contests, mini concerts and more.
You need to make a reservation in advance for Kyo-ryori on a riverbed.